A Former Prosecutor Defending Clients in Wyoming and South Dakota
Click one of the categories below to see just answers to frequently asked questions about that topic. Or scroll down to see all of our FAQs.
In Wyoming, the criminal penalties connected to DUI charges depend on whether you have been convicted before. The first time you face a DUI conviction you could face:
Second and subsequent offenses mean mandatory minimum jail times, higher fines, longer license suspensions, and mandatory interlock devices. On your 4th offense, you could go to prison for up to 2 years.
South Dakota's DUI criminal penalties are more straight forward. On a first or second offense, you could face:
On a third offense you could face up to 2 years in prison and a $2,000 fine, as well as a 1 year license suspension. South Dakota does not require ignition interlock devices.
Criminal DUI charges only apply if your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the legal limit. Those limits are the same in Wyoming and South Dakota:
How many drinks it takes to hit those limits depends on several factors, including:
When alcohol is involved in a traffic stop, the police officer will most likely ask you to submit to a chemical blood alcohol test like a Breathalyzer. While you are legally allowed to refuse the breath test, doing so will affect your driver's license under Wyoming and South Dakota's "implied consent laws."
In Wyoming, the first refusal results in a 6 month suspension. Second or subsequent refusals result in an 18 month license suspension.
In South Dakota, any time you refuse a chemical blood alcohol test it will result in a one year license revocation.
A DUI or DWUI conviction in Wyoming or South Dakota will automatically result in a license suspension. How long the suspension lasts depends on your history of DUI convictions.
In Wyoming, the length of your license suspension increases with each DUI conviction:
On your fourth or subsequent offense, you could permanently lose your right to drive.
In South Dakota, the longest your license will ever be suspended is 1 year. However, depending on your case, it could be shorter:
A DUI conviction will continue to affect your sentencing for 10 years in both Wyoming and South Dakota.
A DUI /DWUI conviction is expensive. In addition to the fines and penalties described above, you could also face additional costs:
All together, even a first offense DUI conviction could end up costing you more than $10,000.
If you have been arrested and are facing criminal charges in Wyoming, you should expect to show up in court on several occasions:
The judge will evaluate several factors to decide your sentence, including:
In misdemeanor cases, the decision is made without independent investigation, and is at the judge's discretion up to a maximum by the law. In felony cases, a pre-sentence investigation report will result in sentencing guidelines, which are a range of possible jail or prison times. The court may also consider alternative programs like inpatient substance abuse treatment or probation. Your criminal defense attorney will argue on your behalf to help reduce your sentence.
If you are convicted of a felony, you may lose certain rights:
You may also lose your freedom during the jail or prison sentence, and may have additional restrictions placed on you as terms of your probation. Felons are also required to submit to DNA testing.
The terms of your probation, including how long it lasts, will be laid out in the order of probation, which describes what you are required to do. The most basic terms of probation require a criminal defendant to:
Depending on the charge and the circumstances in your case you may also be required to:
A criminal conviction for a sex offense often means you need to register as a sex offender. Sex offenders must provide law enforcement with the following:
It is up to the sex offender to keep this information up to date. In Wyoming, registration lasts for 10 years unless the conviction is aggravated or a second offense.
Information regarding a sex offender's residence, place of employment, and other details are made part of a public online registry. The state may also send out notification to neighbors if the court believes there is a risk of repeated offense.
You can ask the court to expunge a conviction after your sentence is complete. These records do not disappear, but they are removed from public records and only used for court purposes. Whether you qualify depends on the state and the charge.
Your record can be expunged if you are a juvenile with a non-violent misdemeanor or ordinance conviction who is turning 18 with no other convictions. For adults misdemeanors, you must:
If you have a felony conviction you must:
Your criminal conviction can be expunged if you: