An individual acquires a criminal record in Wyoming the first time they are arrested and fingerprinted by law enforcement in the state. The arresting law enforcement agency will forward the individual’s arrest fingerprint card to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation Criminal Records Unit, which maintains the state’s central repository of criminal history record information. Any subsequent arrests and/or convictions will be added to an individual’s criminal record.
In Wyoming, criminal records are not public records, and you may not access the criminal record of another person without obtaining that individual’s signed consent and fingerprint card. However, you can request a copy of your Wyoming criminal record by submitting an application and fingerprint card to the DCI.
What is a criminal record?
A criminal record is an official document detailing a person’s criminal convictions, pending criminal cases, prior arrests, and other interactions with law enforcement agencies. Additional names for a criminal record include criminal history record, rap sheet, and a police record.
As with marriage records and court records, criminal records are generally public records in the United States and can be accessed through a criminal background check. However, public access to specific criminal record information varies from state to state.
In the State of Wyoming, there is no name-based search tool for criminal record information available to the general public, and all criminal background checks are fingerprint-based. Another person’s criminal record cannot be obtained without submitting the person’s signed authorization.
What is included in a Wyoming criminal record?
As criminal records are kept by law enforcement agencies at all levels of government in the United States, a Wyoming criminal record may vary in format and content depending on the law enforcement database from which it is accessed.
Generally, a Wyoming criminal record will include the following information:
- A person’s full name and possible aliases
- Personal information such as age, date of birth, sex, ethnicity, height, weight, and other physical characteristics
- Fingerprints and mugshot
- Misdemeanor criminal offenses and convictions
- Felony criminal offenses and convictions
Why would someone access a criminal record?
There are many reasons to access a criminal record. Most commonly, people search criminal records as a way to run a background check on a particular person. They’re also used by law enforcement to identify or locate people involved in unsolved crimes or by the court system to determine an appropriate sentence after a conviction.
An individual may want to access his or her own record as well. It’s not uncommon for people to request their own criminal records to see what information is public. In some cases, a record could be inaccurate or include outdated information. If that’s the case, it’s important to have the record corrected.
What’s the difference between an infraction, misdemeanor, and felony?
Arrests and convictions listed on a criminal record are separated into three categories: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
To give a better understanding of the information listed on a criminal record, here’s a quick overview of each category of offense:
- Infraction – An infraction is a minor violation of the law that is regulated at the state level. Punishment for an infraction is usually just 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, yet less serious than a felony. Generally, a misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment of less than a year, or by a term of probation. An individual convicted of a misdemeanor is more likely to serve time in a county or local jail than in 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, often characterized by the use of a weapon during a crime, serious injury to a victim, and/or holding a person against their will. Felony convictions typically result in a term of imprisonment of more than one year in a state or federal prison. Examples of felonies include rape, murder, and grand theft.
What is the difference between a Wyoming arrest record and a Wyoming criminal record?
While an arrest record is an official document including the details of a specific arrest, a criminal record is a more comprehensive document that includes a person’s entire criminal background known to law enforcement agencies.
How do I request a copy of my Wyoming criminal record?
You may request a copy of your own Wyoming criminal record by submitting an application along with other required materials which include a $15 fee payment and an official FBI blue 8X8 fingerprint card with your fingerprints.
If the application is accepted, the criminal record returned will not only include Wyoming criminal record information, but all reported criminal record information from the Western Identification Network, which in addition to Wyoming, includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
Here’s to request a copy of your Wyoming criminal record (along with reported information from all Western Identification Network states):
- Visit the office of a local law enforcement agency and have all ten fingerprints taken on an official FBI blue 8X8 fingerprint card. There may be a variable fee involved. Call ahead of time to check if services have been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- This can also be down at the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation office for $5 (address below).
- Fill out the rest of the fingerprint card in black ink.
- Prepare a $15 cashier’s check or money order payable to “Office of the Attorney General” (Cash, personal checks, and debit/credit cards are not accepted).
- Write a note detailing your criminal background check request. Be sure to include your address and phone number on mailed requests.
- Enclose the fingerprint card, written request note, and payment in an envelope. Mail or deliver in person the envelope to the following address:
Division of Criminal Investigation
208 South College Drive
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002
Processing the request may take up to six weeks. If you have any questions or concerns about the request process, contact the DCI at 307-777-7181.
Note: It is also possible to perform a criminal background check on another person if you submit their authorized consent and an FBI fingerprint card with their fingerprints. See this FAQ page for more information.
How do I obtain a physical copy of a Wyoming criminal record?
If a Wyoming criminal record exists under your name (or the subject of the request’s name, if the subject is a third party), a physical copy of the record will be sent to you at the address specified on the request.
Why can’t I access a Wyoming criminal record?
As previously stated, you may not request the Wyoming criminal record of another person without their signed authorization and fingerprint card.
If you request a copy of your own criminal record and none is returned, it may be that you do not have a criminal record in the state, or your criminal charges have not been reported to the DCI.
How do I search for Wyoming criminal case court records?
Wyoming Supreme Court case records can be accessed using this Case Search tool. In order to access criminal case court records of cases processed in Wyoming district or circuit courts, you must make a records request to the clerk of the court.
You can find addresses and contact information for these courts using the following directories:
Does Wyoming allow criminal records to be sealed or expunged?
In Wyoming, many criminal charges–including misdemeanor and felony convictions–may be eligible for expungement after a certain waiting period has passed. In order to get an expungement, a person must file a Petition for Expungement with the court that processed the case. If the Petition is successful, the court judge will sign an Order of Expungement.
View this Wy.gov expungement page for more information on eligibility and the expungement process.
How can I have false information on a Wyoming criminal record corrected?
According to Wyoming Statute 7-19-109, you can submit a challenge to incorrect information on your criminal record without paying a fee.
Call the Wyoming Division of Criminal Information at (307) 777-7181 for instructions on how to submit a challenge. You may need to obtain and submit a fingerprint card along with the challenge.
How long are Wyoming criminal records kept on file?
Wyoming criminal history record information is maintained indefinitely without exception. Even if a petition for expungement passed, criminal record information sealed from public view will be preserved for criminal justice purposes.