Wyoming Traffic Court Records
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What are Wyoming Traffic Court Records?
Wyoming traffic court records contain records of the proceedings of cases adjudicated under the state traffic laws, statutes and ordinances. They include all legal documents and case files created as a result of these proceedings.
Are Wyoming Traffic Court Records Public Records?
Wyoming traffic court records are classified as public records as members of the public can submit requests to view traffic court records. Records that can be accessed by members of the public are referred to as public records.
Which Wyoming Courts Have Jurisdiction over Traffic Violation Matters?
The court with jurisdiction over a Wyoming traffic ticket depends on the agency which issued the ticket. If the ticket was issued by the Municipal/City Police, the Municipal Court has jurisdiction and if the ticket was issued by the Sheriff’s Department or Wyoming Highway Patrol, the Circuit Court has jurisdiction.
Getting a Traffic Ticket in Wyoming
A Wyoming traffic ticket or Complaint is a legal document issued for the citation of traffic violations by a law enforcement officer in the state of Wyoming. It can be issued by an officer of a Municipal Police Department, Sheriff’s Department or State Highway Patrol. It represents an attestation of the officer about the alleged incident. It shall be filled out by the officer and will include information about the defendant and the vehicle involved in the incident. The ticket will contain the defendant’s full name, current address and relevant physical characteristics such as height, weight, sex, and race. It also contains details about the defendant’s driver’s license and information about the vehicle involved.
The officer will indicate the location of the incident including the date and time. The offense alleged to have been committed and the corresponding statute section and code will also be included in the ticket. The total fine amount due is usually indicated on the ticket. The court with jurisdiction over the case will be indicated. The ticket will also indicate if the offender must make a court appearance or if the offender might be able to pay a bond instead of a court appearance. If a bond can be paid, then the bond amount will be indicated. The officer will include name, badge number, and agency on the ticket. Instructions for responding to the ticket will be included on the reverse of the ticket.
In Wyoming, most cities and towns have their municipal codes for traffic violations so fines may tend to vary from municipal court to municipal court, but are uniform for counties and by the violation. Wyoming traffic must be responded to on or before the date indicated on the ticket. Wyoming traffic violations and infractions are typically infractions or misdemeanors depending on the severity of the offense. Most moving violations are considered to be misdemeanors.
Wyoming does not employ a points-based system for driver’s records. Convictions for moving violations are reported to the Wyoming Department of Transport (DoT) and these are recorded against a driver. If a driver receives 4 moving violations within 12 months, the driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days. Each subsequent violation carries an additional 90 days.
Traffic violations are classified as moving or non-moving violations. Moving violations are traffic offenses committed by a vehicle in motion such as reckless driving or DWIs. These are serious traffic offenses and convictions are reported and will appear on a driver’s record. Non-moving violations are offenses committed when vehicles are not in motion such as parking violations or illegal modifications to a vehicle. These are lesser offenses, will not be reported and not appear on a driver’s record.
What to Do When You Get a Traffic Ticket in Wyoming?
Upon receiving a Wyoming traffic ticket, a response must be made to the ticket on or before the date indicated on the ticket or the defendant risks added penalties, including an arrest warrant being issued. The agency which issued the ticket dictates which court the response will be made to; tickets issued by municipal/city police are heard in Municipal Court, while tickets issued by the Sheriff’s Department or Wyoming Highway Patrol are heard in Circuit Court. The appropriate court will be indicated on the ticket. When responding, the defendant can choose to:
- Pay the traffic ticket
- Contest the Ticket
Choosing to pay the ticket is a Guilty plea and will be recorded as a conviction by the court. Depending on the court which hears the case, tickets can be paid
- Online- If the ticket requires a response to a Circuit Court, then the ticket can be paid with the state’s citation payment system. If it requires a response to a Municipal Court, then the defendant will need to check the municipal website for online payment options.
- By Mail- Circuit Court payments can be mailed to the Circuit Court indicated on the ticket, along with a completed copy of the ticket and the total fine amount. Municipal Court payments can be mailed to the Municipal court indicated on the ticket.
- In-Person- In-person payments can be made by visiting the Court (Circuit or Municipal) indicated on the ticket during office hours.
Payments must be made on or before the court date indicated on the ticket to avoid additional repercussions.
Choosing to contest the ticket is an exercise of the defendant’s right to a trial. The defendant will need to enter a Not Guilty plea with the appropriate court. The plea should be entered on or before the court date indicated on the ticket. The plea can be entered by mailing the completed citation copy to the Court or appearing in court on the date and entering the plea in person. After the plea has been received and accepted, a date will be assigned for the pre-trial conference- this is at the discretion of the court and not usually assigned for lesser offenses- or trial.
If a pre-trial conference is scheduled, then the defendant will have the opportunity to meet with a prosecutor to work out a plea agreement, which usually necessitates the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser charge. If the defendant is unable to reach a plea agreement with the prosecutor, then the case proceeds to trial. At the trial, the judge will hear arguments from both sides, review any evidence presented and listen to witnesses. After the trial, the judge will render a verdict. If the defendant is found guilty, the court will administer the sentence and the defendant becomes liable for all fines and penalties awarded. A report of the conviction will be sent to the DoT and noted on the driver’s record. Based on the nature of the offense, this could lead to a license suspension. If the verdict is Not Guilty, then the case is dismissed and the defendant is freed on all charges.
If the offense requires a court appearance, then the defendant must appear in court on the scheduled day regardless of the plea to be entered. Failure to attend any scheduled court date could result in an arrest warrant being issued, additional fines or a license suspension. Be sure to reschedule any date with the court in which the date is inconvenient.
How Do I Find Wyoming Traffic Court Records?
Wyoming traffic court records are available in the courts where the records are located and can be accessed by submitting a request to the appropriate Clerk of the Court. If the case was heard in Circuit court, then the request will be submitted to the Clerk of the Circuit Court (where the case was heard) and if the case was heard in Municipal Court, the request will be submitted to the Clerk of the Municipal Court. If the requestor requires the court to search for the records and send them, then there will be an applicable fee. There is no fee required if the requestor visits the court and searches for the records unless copies are required.
Additionally, publicly available records are accessible from some third-party websites. These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching a specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties must provide:
- The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile
- The assumed location of the record in question such as a city, county, or state name
Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites, and record availability may differ from official channels.
What information is required to obtain Wyoming Traffic Court Records?
To obtain Wyoming traffic records, the name on the record and/or the case or citation number will be required. The party requesting the record might need to provide valid and state-approved identification before taking possession of the records. If copies are required, there will be applicable fees.
Can Wyoming Traffic Records be sealed or expunged?
In Wyoming, a person can petition to expunge first-time misdemeanor conviction if all sentencing terms and requirements have been fulfilled and 5 years have passed since the completion of the sentence. Only non-violent felonies in which the judge granted a deferred sentence can be petitioned for expungement. DUI convictions can be petitioned for expungement, only if the judge granted a deferred judgment.
How does one end up in a Wyoming Traffic court?
One ends up in Wyoming traffic court, when issued a Wyoming traffic citation and the ticket is marked “Must Appear”, which indicates a court appearance is mandatory. One can also end up in traffic court if the ticket does not require a mandatory court appearance, but the person wishes to plead Not Guilty to the charges.