Wyoming is one of the most open, untouched states: its population of 578,759 makes it the least populated state and the 2nd least densely populated in the nation. What’s more, Cheyenne, the state’s capital and most populous city, has just 63,624 residents. The state has 23 counties, of which Laramie County is the largest by population and Niobrara County the smallest.
Crime is rare in Wyoming: the state’s 2018 violent crime rate of 2.12 per 1,000 is considerably below the national rate. The state’s most dangerous city is Cheyenne, yet its violent crime rate is still significantly below the national rate. However, the state somehow logged the 2nd highest arrest rate in the nation in 2018.
Wyoming Arrest and Crime Statistics
- In 2018, 28,437 arrests were made in Wyoming as reported by 54 law enforcement agencies. 11.22% of these arrests were made of minors under the age of 18.
- Exactly 600 arrests were made for violent crimes in the state, including 21 for robbery, 26 for rape, and 12 for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter.
- Drug abuse violations were the leading identified cause of arrest, accounting for 4,895.
- 3,432 people were arrested for DUI’s in Wyoming, making it the 2nd leading cause of arrest in the state.
- At the end of 2019, there were 2,107 registered sex offenders in Wyoming, a near 200 person increase over the previous year.
What is a public arrest record?
An arrest record is a report produced by a law enforcement entity after the arrest or apprehension of an individual which contains the details of the incident, the individual’s personal information, and occasionally includes additional information about the individual’s criminal record.
An arrest record is often a key document in a criminal case and may play a significant role in an ensuing trial. The arrest record may remain in the public record for a long time regardless of whether the suspect is ultimately convicted of the crime(s) for which they were initially arrested. This means that it can be accessed by the general public.
What is included in a public arrest record?
- Description of the incident: An arrest record will include a chronological account of the alleged crime produced by the arresting officer that may utilize information provided by first-hand witnesses and/or victims of the alleged crime.
- Date and location of the arrest
- Physical description: The height, weight, hair color, sex, and race of the arrested person, along with other distinguishing characteristics such as tattoos, scars, or birthmarks.
- Personal information: The name, age, date of birth, phone number, address, social security number, and other contact information of the arrested individual, as well as any other names the person may go by.
- Criminal charges filed
- Classification of the crime: Whether the alleged crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.
- Court date
- Police interrogation details
What are the types of charges that may appear on an arrest record?
Generally, charges are classified into three main categories:
- Infraction – An infraction is a minor violation of the law that is regulated at the state level. Punishment for an infraction is typically a fine or a written warning, rather than a jail or prison sentence. Examples of infractions include minor traffic violations, public nuisance offenses, and littering.
- Misdemeanor – A misdemeanor is a crime that is more serious than an infraction, but less severe than a felony, and generally punishable by a term of imprisonment of less than a year, or a term of probation. An individual convicted of a misdemeanor is more likely to serve time in a county or local jail than a federal or state prison. Examples of misdemeanors include driving under the influence, most drug abuse violations, and petty theft.
- Felony – A felony is the most serious type of crime and generally results in a term of imprisonment of more than one year in a state or federal prison. Having a felony on one’s record may result in limitations of employment and the acquisition of specialty licenses. Examples of felonies include rape, murder, and arson.
Who can access arrest records?
As in most other states, arrest records (also known as arrest reports) are public records in Wyoming and can be accessed by anyone upon request to a law enforcement agency, and may come up during a routine background check.
Other examples of Wyoming public records include:
- vital records such as birth and death certificates
- marriage licenses
- court records
- voting records
- property records
Where are physical copies of arrest records kept in Wyoming?
Arrest records are typically held by the law enforcement agency responsible for the arrest, usually a local police department or county sheriff’s office. They also may be kept in the archive of a state government agency, or circuit court. However, the officially designated central repository of criminal history record information in Wyoming is the Office of the Attorney General, Division of Criminal Investigation.
Why can’t I access an arrest record in Wyoming?
There are a number of reasons why you may not be able to access an arrest record. Although the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires federal agencies to release arrest records and other public records, records that fall under certain exemptions can be withheld from the public.
The FOIA includes nine exemptions that allow agencies to withhold documents, such as arrest records, and not release them to the public. They are:
- The information is classified to protect natural security.
- The information focuses on the internal rules and practices of the agency.
- Another federal law prohibits the release of the information.
- The information includes confidential trade secrets and/or commercial and financial information.
- The information includes privileged, confidential communicative exchanges between two agencies.
- The information could pose a danger to another person’s privacy if released.
- The information is reserved for law enforcement purposes in a court case or an investigation or could reveal a confidential source.
- The information includes confidential information about financial institution supervision.
- The information includes geographical information about wells.
Additionally, some state laws limit the availability of arrest records due to the fact that they are perceived as one-sided documents that do not include the arrested person’s account of the incident.
What is the difference between an arrest record and a criminal record?
Compared to an arrest record, a criminal record is a more thorough document that details an individual’s entire criminal history, including arrest warrants, arrests, third party complaints, convictions, and even dropped cases.
What is the difference between an arrest record and an arrest warrant?
An arrest warrant is a document issued by a judge or magistrate that grants law enforcement the authority to arrest an individual suspected of a crime or to search and seize the individual’s property, whereas an arrest record is a document of an arrest that is only created after an arrest or apprehension has already occurred.
In order for a judge or magistrate to issue an arrest warrant, they must conclude that there is probable cause for an arrest. Probable cause must be backed by sworn testimony or an affidavit that provides sufficient information supporting the need for an arrest. An arrest warrant must also specify one individual that should be arrested, rather than a group of individuals or a rough description of a suspect.
How many Americans have been arrested?
While crime has steadily dropped in the United States over the past several decades, arrests have gone up, particularly for younger age groups. Typically, law enforcement makes around 10 million arrests each year. Here are some key statistics on arrests in the United States:
- In 2018, around 10.3 million arrests were made nationwide.
- 73% of arrested persons in 2018 were males.
- The more recent an American was born, the greater the likelihood that the individual has been arrested at least once. The following is the percentage of Americans in various age groups that have been arrested:
- 6.4% of Americans born before 1949
- 10.7% of Americans born between 1949 and 1958
- 13.8% of Americans born between 1959 and 1968
- 18.7% of Americans born between 1969 and 1978
- 23% of Americans born between 1979-1988
How to search for Arrest Records in Wyoming
Wyoming allows individuals to request a copy of their state criminal history information, including Wyoming arrest records, to use as they see fit. The criminal history record will include information from the official Wyoming database, as well as any information in the Western Identification Network, which includes the following additional seven states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
Note that unauthorized individuals may not request the criminal history information of others in the state. The official request requires a person to pay a fee of $15 and submit an official fingerprint card containing all ten of their fingerprints.
Follow these steps in order to request Wyoming criminal history record information:
- Visit a local law enforcement agency such as a police department or sheriff’s office and have your fingerprints taken on an official FBI 8 X 8 BLUE fingerprint card. You may also have your fingerprints taken at the Division of Criminal Investigation office for $5 (address below).
- Fill out your personal information on the top portion of the fingerprint card in black ink.
- Prepare a $15 payment in the form of a money order or certified check payable to the “Office of the Attorney General”.
- Write a brief note stating your request for criminal history record information. Include a physical address and phone number if submitting the request through the mail.
- Enclose the fingerprint card, note, and payment in an envelope and mail or deliver it in person to:
Division of Criminal Investigation
208 South College Drive
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002
Please wait up to six weeks for the application to be processed. If you have any questions or concerns about the request, contact the DCI at 307-777-7181.
How can I search for a Wyoming arrest record on the internet using a background check service?
Since tracking down physical copies of arrest records can prove challenging, searching for them online is a viable option. There is a wealth of online services that allow you to search and access Wyoming arrest records and other public records via numerous government agency databases in exchange for a fee.
However, despite the fact that users must pay to obtain an arrest record from an online service, it’s nevertheless a convenient means of getting these documents. The offices of government agencies are often marred by inconsistent service and take a long time to process requests to view documents.
Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a fee to use an online background check service, rather than endure the extended delays typical of government offices.
What can I do if my arrest record has a mistake?
If your Wyoming arrest record contains inaccurate or incomplete information, you may submit a challenge to the information free-of-charge as described in Wyoming Statute 7-19-109. The process may require a fingerprint card or additional documentation to support your claim, depending on the nature of the challenge.
Contact the Division of Criminal Information at 307-777-7181 for instruction on how to proceed.
If you’re worried that someone you know or love has a criminal record and may be hiding it from you, run a quick background check online with ArrestRecords.com. Thanks to public records laws, almost all Wyoming arrests, criminal and civil records are available online, as well as comprehensive background checks and secret data. You can even find Wyoming marriage records, secret divorce records as well as birth and death records.
Violent Crime rate
Property Crime rate
Murder Crime rate
Forcible Rape rate
Motor Vehicle Theft rate