Expunging a Criminal Record In Wyoming
Following a court case, the court will file a criminal record of all related charges, even if they are dismissed, with Wyoming’s central criminal records and these records are available to the public. The availability of these files can be roadblocks for individuals looking for employment, applying for schools, and renting an apartment or home. Within the state of Wyoming, citizens have the option of expunging a criminal record, which will remove or seal the record from public eyes. Expungement holds a number of benefits in Wyoming, including improving your job, schooling, and housing opportunities. Once a record is expunged, the records can only be accessed by law enforcement and you are not required to disclose it to landlords, housing officials, employers, or any other individual.
How Is a Record Expunged in Wyoming?
While the expungement process may appear simple at first, each step in the process is highly important and should be taken with the advice of an attorney.
- Prepare a Petition: To begin expunging a criminal record, you or your attorney will need to prepare a Petition for Expungement with the respective court where the charges were originally filed. Mistakes can have serious ramifications on your petition, so it is to your advantage to speak to a criminal defense attorney first.
- File the Petition: Once the petition is prepared, you or your attorney will file the petition with the court where the original charges and court case took place.
- Inform Respondents of Expungement Filing: After the petition is filed, all parties – referred to as Respondents – who were involved in your case should be informed of the petition in writing and served with a copy it, including the prosecuting attorney, the department that oversaw the criminal investigation, and any victims or alleged victims of the crime being expunged. The respondents do have the option of objecting to the expungement. If they do so, the court will schedule a hearing for you and your attorney to make a case for expungement.
- Expungement Hearing: During the hearing, the court will review the nature of the charges and determine if they can be expunged or not.
- Prepare an Order of Expungement: If the court grants the expungement, you or your lawyer must prepare an Order of Expungement for the judge’s signature. The order can be drafted before the hearing and presented for the judge to sign immediately after the court makes their decision.
- Signing an Order of Expungement: Once a judge is presented with an Order of Expungement, they will sign the order and the court will begin sealing your records. At this point, all court documents related to your criminal history will be sealed and the public will not be able to access it.
- Sealing of the Criminal Record: All records, including documents related to your arrest, charges, and disposition, will be removed from public access. In addition, a copy of the Order of Expungement will be sent by the court to the criminal investigation department that handled your case.
New Expungement Law Regarding Juvenile Records
The expungement of juvenile court records was enacted by the Wyoming Legislature in 2019 with HB0044. This act amends the provisions for youth to have their juvenile records automatically expunged once they become adults. It also allows prosecutors to file a record of expungement without the young person having to go through the process.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Criminal records can be difficult to comprehend for the uninitiated. When you are petitioning the court for an expungement, mistakes can be disastrous. For the best chance of having your criminal record expunged, seek help from an experienced Gillette criminal defense attorney. At Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., our team of seasoned trial lawyers are dedicated advocates in criminal defense matters. Contact us today at (307) 257-7800 for experienced legal assistance with expunging a criminal record.
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