Before the land was settled and the area became a state, Wyoming was
home to the Shoshone, Arapaho, and Lakota Indians. In the late
eighteenth century and early nineteenth century John Colter and other
French trappers explored the land. Colter's discovery and description
of what is now Yellowstone National Park was not believed by those of
the East Coast.
The name Wyoming comes from the Munsee Indian phrase meaning "at the
big river flat." Though the land was explored in 1807, Wyoming did not
become a state until 1890. Now the large land that is over ninety
percent rural produces larges sources of livestock and agricultural
goods. Wool, hay, wheat, barley, sugar beets, and beef are a main
source of production for most Wyoming citizens.
Like other states Wyoming has state laws in areas where federal laws
have no jurisdiction. Many of these include bankruptcy laws, divorce
laws, gun laws, expungement laws, labor laws, and drunken driving laws.
The federal government installed a new bankruptcy act in 2005. This act
is designed to eliminate the abuse on the bankruptcy system and to
limit those who qualify for Chapter Seven bankruptcy. Under the 2005
Bankruptcy Act, individuals who qualify for bankruptcy are required to
attend credit counseling at least six months before filing.
When the bankruptcy process has been completed the individuals are also
required to attend a financial management course. Those who qualify
will have their debts and incomes compared to the mean of the rest of
Wyoming. If an individual is above the state mean, he or she will be
granted Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy. If an individual is below the
state mean, he or she will be granted Chapter Seven bankruptcy.
All drunken driving convictions are based on previous offenses. The
circumstances around an offense, as well as any aggravating factors,
will also dictate the severity of a sentence. Aggravating factors
include driving with a minor in the motor vehicle, causing harm to
another, driving with a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit,
causing another death, and driving over the speed limit.
Convictions for driving under the influence usually include driver's
license suspension, fines, incarceration, probation, community service,
interlock ignition devices, and motor vehicle impounding. In Wyoming
after five years an offense can no longer be used as an aggravating
offense to increase a current conviction.
When a record is expunged in Wyoming all the information associated
with the conviction will be returned to the offender. This information
can include DNA samples, photographs, fingerprints, and any other form
of identifiable information. When an individual does have his or her
record expunged the record is then sealed from public view and can only
be accessed if the individual applies to the military or runs for
Upon sealing an individual can then lawfully state that he or she never
committed the convicted offense. Juvenile records can most often be
expunged if the individual was not convicted of an adult offense.
Felony offenses, misdemeanor offenses, sexual offenses, and traffic
offenses cannot normally be expunged.