Under Wyoming's laws, felonies are crimes punishable by death or incarceration in state prison for more than one year. Less serious crimes (misdemeanors) are punishable by up to one year in county or local jail. (Wyo. Stat. § § 6-10-101, 6-10-107.)
For more information on misdemeanors in Wyoming, see Wyoming Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
In most states, lawmakers designate crimes by class (such as “class A felony” or “level 1 felony”) and set the punishment for each class of crimes. In Wyoming, lawmakers set punishment on a crime-by-crime basis for felonies.
For example, first degree sexual assault is punishable by five to 50 years in prison. For more information on sex crimes and their penalties, see Wyoming Sexual Battery Laws.
Possession of more than three ounces of marijuana is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or a fine and imprisonment. For more information, see Wyoming Marijuana Laws.
For any felony conviction, the court may also impose a fine. If the criminal statute does not specify an amount, the court can impose a fine of up to $10,000. (Wyo. Stat. § 6-10-102.)
In most states, for all but the most serious crimes, there is a time limit (called the statute of limitations) before which the state must begin criminal prosecution or the defendant can have the case dismissed. In Wyoming, there are no statutes of limitations and the state may begin criminal prosecution at any time after a crime is committed.
For more information, see Wyoming Criminal Statute of Limitations.
Felony convictions have serious and lasting consequences. A felony conviction can make you ineligible to vote or hold public office, and make it hard to obtain a job, qualify for a professional license, or attend the school of your choice. If you are charged with a felony, the best way to avoid a conviction is to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can tell you how your case is likely to fare in court and what you need to do in order to protect your rights and successfully defend yourself.