In Idaho all misdemeanors begin with the issuing of a formal citation to the accused. This formal citation is both a criminal complaint and a summons. The citations states when the accused shall appear in court.
This first court date is called the arraignment where the accused is charged, pleads guilty or not guilty, and constitutional rights are read in a hearing. An attorney, at this point, can be hired personally or one can be appointed by the court.
If the accused has been arrested, the court will also discuss any bonds present. If pled guilty, the accused can either be sentenced at this court date or one in the future at a pretrial conference.
Evaluations are required for certain cases, like driving under the influence charges and domestic battery charges. In this case the sentencing will take place after the pretrial conference. There may at times be more than one pretrial conference depending on the crime.
These trials can either be trials by jury with six jurors or trials by the court. Most misdemeanor trials take thirty minutes or less. In Idaho the accused has the right to address the court, unlike other states where he or she cannot. Witnesses may be called and a defense presented. Along with a conviction, the court may also discuss driver's license suspension.
Probation is also an option where a sentence is withheld and other stipulations are presented. These can include community service, random urinalysis, counseling, and restriction of contact with particular people or businesses. Upon sentencing each misdemeanor is classified into different sections.
Misdemeanor classes are fairly straightforward. A Class A Misdemeanor normally consists of county jail imprisonment for up to one year with or without a fine of no more than four thousand dollars. Class A Misdemeanors often include burglary of a vehicle, driving while intoxicated, and unlawfully carrying a weapon.
Class B Misdemeanor charges normally include DWI charges, theft of more than fifty dollars but less that five hundred dollars, criminal trespassing, and evading detention or arrest. Sentencing for Class B Misdemeanors normally includes county jail imprisonment for up to one year with or without a fine of no more than two thousand dollars.
Only a certain people are eligible for misdemeanor expungement. These include juveniles taken into custody as well as photographed and fingerprinted; any individual who served a criminal summons upon an arrest and was acquitted of all offenses; anyone who was granted exemption for sex offender registration; anyone whose DNA profile was included in the state database upon conviction with the reservation to be used in court; and juvenile offenders not listed under IC 20-525A.
An individual may apply for expungement one year after the summons or arrest but only if already acquitted of the offense with no other outstanding criminal cases. The records will then be sealed from public view if accepted by the appointed judge. After an expungement a person will be able to legally say that an arrest was never made and a summons never took place. See also:
Idaho Felony External link (opens in new window)
Idaho Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Idaho Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)