Asserting Your Rights And Protecting Your Future

Who qualifies for expungement in Idaho?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Expungements And Dismissals

The consequences of an Idaho criminal conviction don’t immediately end when someone pays their fines or exits state facilities. The record of their criminal conviction can continue to generate consequences for the indefinite future. Many employers, landlords and educational institutions conduct background checks when people apply for housing, enrollment or new jobs. Even minor criminal matters can sometimes it be the deciding factor for an individual hoping to secure a scholarship or a promotion at work.

A mistake that someone made years ago could block them from obtaining opportunities to improve their future. Is it possible for someone who has had a prior run-in with law enforcement in Idaho to expunge their criminal record or seal state records of their prior issue?

Idaho has limited expungement options

Some states are very generous for those with criminal records. Provided that someone avoids additional charges, they could potentially expunge misdemeanor and even non-violent felony offenses. Idaho is not that forgiving of those who have broken the law.

Expungement rules only benefit those who got arrested for an offense but never pleaded guilty or got convicted. Those with dismissed charges or an arrest that did not lead to charges could potentially petition the Idaho courts to expunge their records. They could block private parties from accessing records related to an arrest that did not culminate in a criminal conviction.

Someone who pleaded guilty or lost at trial is ineligible for expungement under current item Idaho rules. Even a minor misdemeanor offense that occurred ten years ago is not eligible for expungement under current Idaho statutes. By contrast, someone who has lost opportunities because of the record of a prior arrest, charges they beat or dismissed charges could seek an expungement in the Idaho courts. Those with criminal convictions typically do not have that option.

It is, therefore, crucial for those recently arrested or facing charges to recognize the effect that a criminal record can have on their future opportunities. The decision to fight criminal charges could protect someone from a scenario in which they lose out on housing, new job opportunities or continuing education because of a prior arrest.

Additionally, learning about Idaho’s expungement rules may benefit those concerned about passing a background check or responding to criminal charges. Those who qualify for an expungement can put a prior offense behind them for good.