Expungement Isn't Really Expungement In Idaho

Courtney Peterson is back with more info on expungement:

Expungement in Idaho isn’t really a complete expungement of all the records in a case. I suppose it’s a bit misleading to use the term “expungement.” In Idaho, you can have your case dismissed based on Idaho Code 19-2604, but the record that you have been charged is still there. A search for your case on the Idaho State Repository will show that you were charged, even if the case has been dismissed or you’ve been granted a Withheld Judgment. The record will reflect the disposition of the case; for example, “Dismissed By Court” or simply “Dismissed.” Evidence that you were charged and perhaps convicted of a crime in Idaho will never fully be erased. There will always be a record of what violation you were charged with, whether you were convicted, acquitted at trial, given a withheld judgment, or the charges dismissed. The only exception to this rule is if the court has sealed the case, which generally only occurs in juvenile or certain domestic relations cases.

Most people who call about expungement tell us they want their conviction “completely off” their record so that no one in the world will ever have access to it again. Sorry – that is just not going to happen. Once you have been charged, absent a court miracle or clerical mistake, the fact that you were a suspect in a criminal case will show up on the Idaho State Repository. Additionally, there will always be a record on the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC for short). This is a national database that only law enforcement personnel have access to, but that record lists every arrest and every charge in your history. There is no real procedure to get these records expunged or erased.

Now, the good news. In Idaho, you get one Withheld Judgment. ONE. If you plead guilty to a charge, whether misdemeanor or felony, you can ask the court to grant you a Withheld Judgment. If you are eligible, the court will hold off on entering a formal judgment of conviction against you when you plead guilty. The judge will instead withhold judgment and after you have successfully completed probation, you can petition the court to dismiss your case. The beauty of a withheld judgment is that it allows you to honestly say that you have not been “convicted” of the specific crime you were charged with. If you’re successful on probation, you can have the case dismissed and there will never be a judgment of conviction against you. Keep in mind, however, that there will still be a record of the charge and your guilty plea on the Idaho State Repository.

Don’t let the fact that you’re only afforded one Withheld Judgment deter you from attempting to get a case dismissed after probation. Even if the judge has entered a judgment of conviction in your case, you can still petition the court under Idaho Code 19-2604 if you’ve successfully completed your probation.

Want more information about getting a case dismissed even without a Withheld Judgment? Give us a call.

 

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