- Wyoming Domestic Violence
- Wyoming Domestic Violence Laws
- WY Stat §6-2-510 – Domestic Assault
- WY Stat §6-2-511 – Domestic Battery
- WY Stat §6-2-509 – Strangulation of a Household Member
- Penalties for Domestic Violence in Wyoming
- Defense for Wyoming Domestic Violence Charges
- Why You Need a Skilled Defense Attorney
Wyoming Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a major issue that affects more than 10 million men and women across the country every year. In the state of Wyoming, allegations of domestic violence are taken very seriously and are prosecuted aggressively under the law. Individuals accused of committing any type of violent or threatening act against a household member may be charged with domestic violence and face life-changing criminal penalties upon conviction. A knowledgeable, aggressive domestic violence defense attorney can prove extremely helpful in protecting your legal rights and freedoms if you have been charged with the crime of domestic violence in Wyoming. A good defense attorney understands what is at stake in domestic violence situations and has the expertise necessary to obtain a favorable outcome in cases involving abuse, threats or physical violence between spouses, family members or household members.
Wyoming Domestic Violence Laws
Wyoming law defines domestic violence as any abusive behavior carried out as part of a systematic pattern of gaining or maintaining power and control by one household member against another. Under WY Stat § 35-21-102, a household member can be any person with whom the accused has an intimate relationship (either currently or previously), a co-parent, any parent or adult child of the accused, or any other adults sharing common living quarters with the accused. Domestic violence in Wyoming can involve one or more of the following acts: physical abuse, threats of physical abuse, causing physical harm or attempting to cause physical harm, or any other acts that “unreasonably restrain the personal liberty” of any household member. Such acts of domestic violence are covered by the following statutes.
WY Stat §6-2-510 – Domestic Assault
(a) A household member is guilty of domestic assault if, having the present ability to do so, he unlawfully attempts to cause bodily injury to another household member.
WY Stat §6-2-511 – Domestic Battery
(a) A household member is guilty of domestic battery if he knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another household member by use of physical force.
WY Stat §6-2-509 – Strangulation of a Household Member
(a) A person is guilty of strangulation of a household member if he intentionally and knowingly or recklessly causes or attempts to cause bodily injury to a household member by impeding the normal breathing or circulation of blood by: (i) Applying pressure on the throat or neck of the household member; or (ii) Blocking the nose and mouth of the household member.
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Wyoming
If you are found guilty of the crime of assault or battery against an intimate partner or household member, or the more serious crime of strangulation of a household member, you could face jail time and other significant criminal penalties under Wyoming law. Domestic battery, for instance, is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to six months and/or a fine of up to $750 under WY Stat §6-2-511. If you have been convicted of domestic battery or any other similar offense involving a household member within the previous five years, a new domestic battery offense is punishable by a longer term of imprisonment of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Under WY Stat §6-2-509, strangulation of a household member is a felony offense in Wyoming, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to ten years.
Under Wyoming domestic violence law, domestic violence offenders may also be required to pay restitution to their victims, which is compensation for any expenses incurred as a result of the domestic violence offense, such as medical treatment, repairing or replacing damaged items, or even counseling. In addition to jail time and restitution, there are a number of other negative consequences offenders may face following a Wyoming domestic violence conviction. If you are found guilty in your domestic violence case, the conviction will become part of your permanent criminal record, which could end up limiting your employment or housing opportunities in the future. It could also cause you to lose certain professional licenses and your right to carry a firearm, and if you are later convicted of another crime, the court may consider the prior conviction in the new case and impose a harsher sentence.
Defense for Wyoming Domestic Violence Charges
If you have been accused of domestic violence in Wyoming, you reserve the right to hire an attorney to present your arguments in defense of the criminal charges. There are a number of possible defenses your attorney may use to challenge the prosecution’s evidence against you. For instance, your attorney may argue that you were not the perpetrator of the abuse, if it did occur, or that the crime did not occur at all, if the alleged victim is suspected of making false allegations of abuse. Or, your attorney may raise an affirmative defense and argue that you were acting in self-defense when the alleged abuse occurred. Self-defense may be sufficient justification for your actions if your attorney can show that you were merely protecting yourself in response to violence or threats of violence leveled against you by the other person. The defense strategy that portrays your side in the best possible light will depend a great deal on the specific facts at hand, which is where an experienced domestic violence defense attorney comes in. With the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney who specializes in domestic violence law, you can significantly improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.
Why You Need a Skilled Defense Attorney
A conviction for any domestic violence-related crime in Wyoming can have a serious, long-lasting impact on every aspect of your life going forward. Not only do you face possible jail time, hefty fines and victim restitution, you also run the risk of damaging your personal and professional relationships, being fired from your job and possibly even losing custody of your children. When you hire a knowledgeable Wyoming criminal defense lawyer to represent your case, he or she will work tirelessly to investigate the domestic violence charges against you, defend you in court, protect your rights and freedom, and keep your sentence and fines at a minimum.