Wyoming Domestic Abuse Laws and How to Get Help for Domestic Abuse
The State of Wyoming has very strict laws against domestic abuse to protect and serve justice to the victims of such abuse. Domestic abuse is considered to be a crime in the state of Wyoming. There are various domestic abuse laws in place to protect the victim and penalize the abuser. Domestic abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, and harassment and stalking.
An individual who commits simple assault or battery against a household member or partner is subject to stricter penalties and possible felony charges if that person has a prior conviction or criminal record for domestic violence against a family member.
A household or family member of the offender includes:
- a person with whom the defendant previously resided or resides.
- a spouse or former spouse of the offender.
- parent or children of the offender.
- an individual with whom the offender shares a child or custody of a minor.
- an individual that the offender is dating or previously dated.
The Legislature of Wyoming defines violence or assault as an attempt to cause physical injury to another person using physical force. When this bodily harm is inflicted by one household member upon another then it falls under domestic abuse.
When a person knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to another by using physical force then the person can be charged with battery under Wyoming statute number 6-2-501. If the defendant attempts to cause or causes bodily injury to a family or household member that hinders the victim’s blood circulation or impedes the victim’s ability to breathe then the offender can be charged with criminal strangulation of a household or family member.
Felony or Misdemeanor?
The degree of the assault and the bodily harm caused determines whether the offense will be considered a felony or misdemeanor in Wyoming. Battery and simple assault are generally categorized as a misdemeanor in the State of Wyoming. Generally for these cases, the victim suffers from minor bodily injury and the bodily harm was not caused by a deadly weapon. Serious bodily injuries include severely broken bones, loss of a limb, disfigurement, or injuries that require extended hospitalization or surgery.
On the other hand, criminal strangulation is considered to be a Felony in Wyoming. But if an individual commits simple assault or battery against a household member and already has at least two previous convictions for battery or simple assault, child abuse, or aggravated assault against a household member then it will be regarded as a Felony.
Punishment for Misdemeanor
The penalty for battery or simple assault of a household member is a fine of up to $75 and imprisonment for up to six months. If the defender has prior convictions for battery or simple assault, child abuse, or aggravated assault, within the past 10 years the penalty is imprisonment for up to 5 years and a fine of up to $2000.
Restitution is an integral part of the penalty in Wyoming. The offender has to pay restitution to the victim which includes legal and medical expenditure caused by the crime, and reimbursement for any physical or psychological damage.
The sentence of the offender can be deferred if the offender does not have any prior charges related to domestic abuse or violent crimes. The court can choose to defer the sentencing after or before the defendant pleads guilty in the trial. The judge can put the defendant on probation for up to five years instead of a prison sentence. If the defendant obeys the conditions of probation then the court might dismiss the case and discharge the defendant.
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