What Is Expungement? And How a Lawyer Can Help.
February 21st, 2023
A criminal record can haunt you for years, making it more difficult to get a job, find an apartment, get into college or technical school, or enter certain professions or trades.
If a criminal conviction is creating obstacles to your success, you might consider a criminal record expungement. Criminal record expungement is a legal process that shields your criminal record from public view during a criminal background check. After you have had your criminal record expunged, you can truthfully answer, in all but a few limited circumstances, that you do not have a criminal record.
There are significant benefits to a criminal record expungement. But even if you are eligible, the process can be tedious and you should not attempt it without assistance from an experienced team of criminal law professionals.
Why Should You Seek an Expungement?
Employers, landlords, schools, and others may conduct a criminal background check when you apply for a job or to attend school or when you apply to rent a house or an apartment. By having your criminal record expunged, only law enforcement personnel will be able to see your criminal record.
Wyoming allows many crimes to be expunged, but not all criminal offenses qualify. At Just Criminal Law, our team can assess your situation to determine if you are eligible and help you with the expungement process.
Are You Eligible for Criminal Record Expungement?
In Wyoming, different expungement laws apply if you were arrested but not convicted, or if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony.
Some criminal offenses are not eligible for expungement, including:
- Violent crimes such as murder, manslaughter, homicide, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, or aggravated burglary
- Sexual assault
- Child abuse or sexual exploitation of children
- Endangering children with controlled substances
- Weapons offenses
- Crimes that require sex offender registration
If you were charged with a crime but never convicted, you can seek criminal record expungement if:
- At least 180 days have passed since the arrest or from when the criminal charge was dismissed;
- No formal charges are pending when the expungement request is made; and
- At least one of the following is true:
- You were not convicted of any criminal charge relating to the event that led to the arrest (in other words, there was a full acquittal on all charges, if any); or
- no criminal charges of any kind were filed against you as a result of the event that led to the arrest; or
- the prosecutor or court dismissed all criminal charges against you relating to the event.
Felony Record Expungement
If you were convicted of a felony that is not one of the types of criminal offenses listed above, you are eligible for expungement if:
- More than ten years have passed since the end of your sentence (including probation), you completed any court-ordered programs, and you made payment in full of restitution to the victim(s)
- You have not pled guilty or no contest or been convicted of any other felonies
- No guns were used in the commission of the crime for which you are seeking expungement, and
- You are not a danger to yourself, any victim, or society.
Misdemeanor Record Expungement
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, you are eligible for expungement if:
- At least one year has passed since the end of your sentence for a status offense (something that is only illegal for certain groups of people, such as consuming alcohol if you are under 21), or at least five years have passed since the end of your sentence for a non-status offense
- The crime did not involve the use of a gun, and
- You are not in danger of harming yourself, any victim, or society.
How a Lawyer Can Help with Criminal Record Expungement
Criminal record expungement is complicated and time-consuming. To increase the likelihood of a successful application for expungement, you should work with an experienced team of criminal defense professionals.
At Just Criminal Law, our team thoroughly understands Wyoming criminal record expungement law and the process you need to follow to have your criminal record expunged. Led by founding attorney and former prosecutor Christina L. Williams, we will assess your situation to determine your eligibility. Once we have determined you are eligible for expungement, we will file the expungement paperwork and represent you throughout the expungement process.
A Wyoming criminal record expungement must be filed in the jurisdiction where you were convicted. We will request a copy of your criminal record and file a Petition for Expungement with the appropriate court. If there are any objections to the expungement application, we will represent you in court and work to convince the judge that expungement is appropriate.
Just Criminal Law Can Help with Criminal Record Expungement
The criminal defense team at Just Criminal Law is here to help with criminal record expungement. To learn more and discuss how we can help, contact us today to schedule your personalized case review and strategy session.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.