Expungement of Criminal Records – General – Wyoming
1. What is an expungement?
Expungement” means only the classification of the record maintained in the files of the state central repository at the division of criminal investigation, in a manner reasonably tailored to ensure that the record will not be available for dissemination purposes other than to a criminal justice agency of any state or a federal criminal justice agency, to be used solely for criminal justice purposes. Wyoming Statutes § 7-13-1401.
2. Do the records just disappear?
No. When a record is expunged, the record is not destroyed but removed from public access and sealed. Destruction is only authorized is the case of fingerprints and related identifying records of a juvenile not adjudged guilty after being detained on a felonious offense. Wyoming Statutes § 14-6-240.
3. Who is eligible to get records expunged?
1) Wyoming Statutes § 14-6-241, allows expungement of a juvenile adjudicated delinquent for other than a violent offense, convicted or misdemeanor or violation of municipal ordinance. They may petition the court for the expungement upon reaching the age of majority if they have not been convicted of a felony since adjudication, no proceeding involving a felony is pending or being instituted against the petitioner and the rehabilitation of the petitioner has been attained to the satisfaction of the court or the prosecuting attorney. Similarly, § 14-6-440 allows a juvenile found in need of supervision to petition the court for the expungement upon reaching the age of majority if they have not been convicted of a felony since adjudication, no proceeding involving a felony is pending or being instituted against the petitioner and the rehabilitation of the petitioner has been attained to the satisfaction of the court or the prosecuting attorney.
2) Under Wyoming Statutes § 7-13-1401, a person may seek expungement when 180 days have passed since the arrest, or from the date the charge or charges were dismissed for which expungement is sought. There must be no formal charges pending against the person when the petition is filed, and the petitioner must sufficiently demonstrate that at least one of the following applies
1) there are no related dispositions;
2) no criminal charges were filed;
3) all criminal proceedings against the person were dismissed.
4. What records may be expunged?
Under Wyoming Statutes § 7-19-405, the division shall expunge all identifiable information and DNA records in the state DNA database relating to the subject conviction when the underlying felony conviction is reversed and dismissed.
Fingerprints and other records are to be expunged when a child accused of an act which would be a felony if committed by an adult is not found guilty. Wyoming Statutes § 14-6-240.
Expungements of records under Wyoming Statutes § 7-13-1401 means any notation of the arrest, charge or disposition maintained in the state central repository at the division of criminal investigation, whether in paper or electronic format. Expungement will not include investigatory files of any local, state or federal criminal justice agency, where those files are being used solely for criminal justice purposes.
Expungements of juvenile records under Wyoming Statutes § 14-6-241 and § 14-6-440 includes all records in the custody of the court or any agency or official, pertaining to the petitioner’s case.
5. How do I get records expunged?
For juvenile records sought to be expunged under Wyoming Statutes § 14-6-241 and § 14-6-440, a petition to expunge must be filed with the juvenile court having jurisdiction over the records. Juvenile fingerprint and related identification records are to be expunged automatically as a matter of law upon court order when a juvenile is not found guilty of the subject felonious nature offense.
Under Wyoming Statutes § 7-19-405, DNA records are to be expunged automatically as a matter of law upon receipt of
(i) a written request for expungement; and
(ii) a certified copy of the court order reversing and dismissing the conviction or providing for expungement.
Wyoming Statutes § 7-13-1401 requires an eligible person to petition the court in which a proceeding occurred, or would have occurred, for an order expunging their records. Any petition filed under this section must be verified by the petitioner, served upon and reviewed by the prosecuting attorney, and no order granting expungement will be issued prior to the expiration of twenty days after service was made.
The prosecuting attorney will file with the court, an objection, if any, to the petition within twenty days after service. If an objection is filed, the court shall set the matter for hearing. If no objection is filed, the court may summarily enter an order if the court finds that the petitioner is eligible for relief under this section.
If the court finds that the petitioner is eligible for relief under this section, it will issue an order granting the expungement of the applicable record. The court will also place the court file under seal, available only for inspection by order of that court. The court shall transmit a certified copy of the order to the division of criminal investigation. There is no filing fee for a petition filed under this section.