A Former Prosecutor Defending Clients in Wyoming and South Dakota
Having a criminal record can make it more difficult to find a job, rent an apartment, or get into college or technical school. If you were convicted of a crime you may have had to forfeit some of your rights such as the right to vote, to serve on a jury, to hold office and, in some cases, to bear arms.
If you have a criminal record, you might be eligible for an expungement and to seek restoration of your rights. However, the process can be complicated and an experienced expungement and restoration of rights attorney can help.
Expungement is the process of removing or having your criminal record sealed from public view. Once your criminal record has been expunged you can truthfully answer, in all but a few limited circumstances, that you do not have a criminal record.
If you were charged with a crime but never convicted, you may be eligible to have your criminal record expunged in as little as 180 days after you were arrested. If you were convicted, depending on the nature of the crime, you may have to wait anywhere between 6 months to 10 years after your sentence has expired.
Criminal records are used for a variety of purposes, including background searches conducted by employers when applying for a job, when renting an apartment, and when applying for school. Having a criminal record can make it more difficult to get hired, find an apartment, or be accepted into the school of your choosing. By having your criminal record expunged, no one other than law enforcement can see your criminal record, which can make it easier to put your criminal record behind you and move forward with your future.
Criminal records are more than just court documents and convictions. They also include arrest records, even if the criminal charges were eventually dismissed. Criminal records can be difficult to understand, and it is helpful to have an attorney review your criminal record to determine whether your record can be expunged and to help you with the expungement process.
If you have a criminal record as a juvenile (i.e. you committed a crime when you were under age 18) your juvenile record will be automatically sealed when you turn 21. Otherwise, the nature of your criminal record will determine whether you are eligible for expungement, the expungement statute that applies, and how long you will need to wait before you are eligible for expungement.
If you were charged but never convicted, the record or your arrest can be expunged under W.S. §7-13-1401 if:
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor you can apply for expungement under W.S. §7-13-1501 if:
If you were convicted of certain eligible felonies you may be eligible for expungement under W.S. §7-13-1502 if:
Violent crimes, sexual crimes, and felony DWUIs are not eligible for expungement
If you are considering expungement, a lawyer can help by obtaining your criminal record and reviewing it to determine whether you are eligible for expungement. If you are eligible, a lawyer can file a Petition for Expungement with the appropriate court. If there are any objections to the expungement the case will be set for a hearing and the judge will decide whether expungement is appropriate.
Once your record has been expunged it can only be viewed by law enforcement. Other sources that previously published information about your criminal record, such as internet and newspaper articles, will remain available to the public.
A person convicted of a felony forfeits many rights, including the right to vote, to serve on a jury, and to hold office. Violent offenders forfeit their right to bear arms. To regain these rights, you must apply for a restoration of rights through the Department of Corrections.
First-time offenders convicted of nonviolent offenses will automatically have their right to vote restored if they completed their sentence after January 1, 2010. People convicted of a violent crime or who have been convicted of multiple offenses must apply for a restoration of rights under W.S. §7-13-105.
Applying for a restoration of rights is a complicated process, particularly for violent offenders or people with multiple criminal convictions. An experienced lawyer can help.
At Just Criminal Law, criminal defense attorney Christina L. Williams and her dedicated team of criminal defense professionals are here to help with expungement and restoration of rights. If a criminal conviction is making it more difficult for you to move forward towards a successful future, contact us today by calling 307-686-6556, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or completing our online form. Spanish language services are available upon request.