If you received a deferred judgment or a withheld judgment in an Idaho criminal case or have a juvenile court record, you may have an opportunity to have these records expunged or sealed from public access. By expunging or clearing your record, you can eliminate barriers to obtaining employment, accessing suitable housing, and getting credit.
Speak to an Idaho expungement lawyer about the process of expungement or record sealing.
What Is Expungement or Sealing?
In Idaho, there is no real distinction between an expungement and record sealing. You might have your juvenile records or some domestic relations incidents actually sealed. Certain criminal cases that were dismissed or suspended, and some withheld or deferred judgments that were entered, may be eligible for an expungement order.
An expungement is the withholding from public view your arrest records along with court records of a dismissal of criminal charges or a court-approved deferred or withheld judgment. No record is completely erased because your arrest, record of dismissal, and other details of your criminal record remain with the Idaho State Repository and National Crime Information Center for law enforcement personnel to access.
If you receive an order of expungement regarding your adult criminal record or an order sealing your juvenile records, you can legally state under oath that you have never been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense. Should you commit a subsequent crime, however, law enforcement can access your expunged records and use a withheld judgment to enhance your sentence in DUI cases and other types of criminal offenses.
Are You Eligible?
A deferred judgment or withheld judgment may be available to first-time offenders in nonviolent crimes. Once all conditions of probation have been successfully completed, including payment of fines, restitution, and participation in court-approved education programs, and you have not re-offended for one year, you can apply for an expungement order.
For sealing juvenile records, you must wait five years after completion of your probation.
What Do You Need?
At your sentencing, the judge must have ordered a Withheld Judgment and imposed a number of conditions for you to complete before the charges may be dismissed. Once these conditions are fulfilled, you must file some documents to obtain an order of expungement:
- Affidavit of Compliance with Withheld Judgment
- Motion to Dismiss Withheld Judgment and Expunge Records
- Proposed Order Granting Motion to Dismiss and Expunge Records
These documents indicate your compliance with all court-imposed terms of your probation and state that you have not been arrested, charged, or convicted in any other criminal proceeding. You must serve these documents on the prosecutor in your prior criminal case.
Another option to clear your record if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony is to obtain a pardon. In Idaho, pardons are granted by the five-member board of the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole. If your offense was nonviolent and not sex-related, you must wait a minimum of three years after your discharge from sentencing before applying; for all other crimes, you must wait a minimum of five years.
The process primarily requires you to submit a written statement about how your conviction has resulted in a financial hardship to you and your family. A pardon can restore your right to possess firearms and may help you if you are not an American citizen and are facing deportation.
Why Contact an Attorney?
Each state has its own laws regarding expungement and sealing of criminal and juvenile records. Contact an Idaho expungement attorney who can help you determine if you are eligible to have your conviction and other records expunged or sealed.