In most states, if you’re charged and convicted of certain crimes, you can have your record expunged later. In fact, there are criminal lawyers all over the country who specialize in this sort of thing. In Idaho, there is no such thing as expungement. Other states allow you to have your record cleared after a certain amount of time has passed. Idaho doesn’t allow you to do this.
Even if you’re charged with a crime and are later acquitted, your record will still reflect the fact that you were charged. Yes, if you apply for a job and they ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, you can say no. However, if they do a background check, they’re going to see that you were charged with a crime. This seems a bit unfair. You could be a victim of mistaken identity and it will follow you for the rest of your life.
Idaho criminal defense lawyers can’t change the law. All they can do is work hard to make sure you aren’t convicted in the first place. They can also work to get the prosecutor to reduce your charges. However, this won’t change what you were originally charged with on your record. The reduced charge will show, but so will the original charge.
If you’re charged with any sort of serious crime in Boise, Idaho, you should call our office.
Are There Any Exceptions to These Rules?
There are only a couple of exceptions to the permanent record rules in Idaho. If you’re arrested for a crime but no charges are filed, you can have your arrest and fingerprinting records cleared from your record. The State only has one (1) year to formally file charges. If they fail to do this, or dismiss the charges, then you can request to have your record cleared. This means that if someone does a criminal background check for any reason, including employment reason, they will not see these records. Additionally, if the case is dismissed by the prosecutor you can have the arrest expunged from the Idaho State Police records.
What Does it Mean for the Judge to Withhold Judgment?
Every citizen in Idaho gets one chance to have a withheld judgment .” If you’re charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Boise, Idaho, you can request that judgment be withheld. In this situation, as long as you complete the terms of your probation, your criminal record will not reflect a conviction. This is because, technically, you were never convicted of a crime.
Some other states refer to this as a conditional discharge. If you do what the court requires of you, it’s almost as if the case never happened. In most other states, this means that your record will be wiped clean. That isn’t the case in Idaho. Even if judgment is withheld in Boise, your record will still reflect the fact that you were arrested and charged with a certain crime.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Boise
It would be great if Idaho followed most other states and offered an expungement program. Unfortunately, they do not. The best you can do is stay out of trouble. If you’re facing serious felony or even a misdemeanor charge in Idaho, you should call our office right away.