State Laws

Wyoming State Laws

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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.

Drunken Driving
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 public office.

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.