Seeking A Fresh Start Through Criminal Record Expungements And Dismissals
At Martens Law Office, P.C., we work to help clients protect their freedom and future from the damages that criminal charges can cause. That includes the damages of a criminal record. Our firm’s founder, Jared Martens, assists the firm’s clients in petitions for expungement, dismissal of criminal records and, in very limited circumstances, complete sealing of criminal records. If you have made a mistake and paid for it, or were a juvenile when convicted, you deserve, at some point, to be allowed to fully participate in society.
Whether you were convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor, we may be able to assist you in the expungement of your criminal record.
What Record Expungement Does And Does Not Achieve
Through the process of expungement, all records relating to a person’s arrest, trial, or conviction are sealed from public view. In most cases, the current Idaho Code §19-2604 allows for the dismissal of a prior conviction. If you received a withheld judgment, dismissal is highly likely. In some of these cases, we discover that relatively simple paperwork is the only thing that needs to be completed to have the conviction dismissed.
Even if your case did not involve withheld or deferred judgment, it is still entirely possible to have the conviction dismissed. If your records are expunged, sealed or dismissed, you can apply for a job or rent an apartment, confident that the prospective employer or landlord will not be able to see your criminal record or at a minimum see a conviction. Rather, they will see that the case was dismissed by the court.
Who Is Eligible For Expungement Or Dismissal In Idaho?
Eligibility depends on the nature of the offense, the sentencing, and the age of the offender at the time of the offense. Many juvenile offenders will be eligible for expungement in Idaho. Adults may be eligible for expungement or dismissal after the term of probation is completed.
In a case where the offense was a felony such as grand theft, domestic battery, or felony DUI that cannot be expunged, a lawyer may be able to get the court to dismiss the charge or reduce it to a misdemeanor. It is extremely important that a person convicted of a crime fulfill the requirements of sentencing, including probation. Any admission or finding by the court of a probation violation removes the opportunity for expungement or dismissal. The same rule applies if you received a withheld judgment at sentencing.
More About Eligibility Requirements
If you currently have a conviction on your record, or if you received a withheld judgment you are likely eligible to have the case dismissed under Idaho Code §19-2604(1). Eligibility depends on two key factors. First, if you were placed on probation you must have completed probation without ever having admitted to or been found guilty of a probation violation. Second, the court must find there to be “good cause” to dismiss your case. Generally, that means you completed your probation successfully or were simply fined.
During the 2014 Idaho Legislative Session, two major amendments were made to the law. First, you no longer have to have served a term of probation to have your case dismissed. Second, the court does not have to find dismissal in the “public interest.” Rather they need only find “good cause.” The legislative update also added language directing the Idaho Courts that they have jurisdiction to grant a dismissal or expungement for individuals currently on probation and for individuals who have been off probation for a matter of a few months or multiple years.
If you were sent to the Idaho State Penitentiary you do not qualify under Idaho Code §19-2604. If you were convicted of a felony and sent on a RIDER (Retained Jurisdiction) and then placed on probation, with no probation violations during your term of probation, you are eligible to have the charge reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor under Idaho Code §19-2604(2). You are not eligible for a full dismissal under current Idaho law.
Free Consultations Available – Speak To An Attorney Today
If you were involved with the criminal justice system, and are interested in record sealing, dismissal or expungement, contact our Boise office and speak to Jared Martens at your first opportunity. Mr. Martens has more than 20 years of experience and an in-depth knowledge of laws governing Idaho expungements, record sealing and dismissals. To learn more about your options in a free consultation, call us at 208-435-1132 or submit an online contact form.