Expunging a Conviction in Idaho

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 What Are the Benefits of Expunging a Criminal Record?

Expungement is a legal process by which an individual’s criminal records are treated as though they no longer exist. Every state has different options as well as limits regarding expungement. 

There is some form of record sealing or expungement for juvenile offenses in every state. Although each state may differ regarding requirements and qualifications for expungement, eligibility for expungement typically includes:

  • Submitting an application for expungement in writing with the court where the conviction occurred;
  • The original sentence must be completed served and finished; and/or
  • The applicant does not have any new or additional criminal charges.

The burden is typically upon the individual who is applying for expungement to show that their probation or other requirements for expungement have been completed. Additionally, the application for expungement will typically only be good for one individual case, the case which they are applying to have expunged.

Should the individual wish to have multiple records or charges expunged, they will be required to file separate applications. Once the individual completes all of the forms requesting expungement, the court will review the petition and determine whether or not the individual is eligible for expungement. Each individual court may have their own processes or additional procedures for expungement. 

The majority of criminal records are public and may be seen by potential schools, landlords, and employers. Criminal laws in Idaho allow for the expungement and sealing of some, but not all, of an individual’s criminal records. 

It is important to note that the expungement of juvenile criminal records is automatic in many states. This does vary, so an individual should seek the advice of a criminal law attorney.

Generally, expungement is only available to individuals who have maintained a clean criminal record in the years between their conviction and their request. Individual courts may also have their own procedures for filing for juvenile expungement.

The term expungement is commonly used interchangeably with other similar terms, such as record sealing. Expungement, however, is different from record sealing in a few important aspects.

When an individual’s criminal record is expunged, it is treated as though the charges and conviction never existed and they are no longer associated with that individual’s criminal history. It means, in general, that the charges have disappeared from the court system.

Record sealing, on the other hand, means that the charges and convictions do still exist. The records, however, cannot be accessed because they are closed to the general public.

This means that individuals or parties, including employers, cannot gain access to that individual’s records, although they still technically exist in the system. In some states, a conviction which is sealed may sometimes be utilized to increase the severity of a future sentence. 

This may apply in cases where the individual’s record as a repeat offender may be of interest. This may occur even if those records are technically sealed.

In Idaho, as in other states, expungement removes the criminal offense from the individual’s record for most purposes. If a record is sealed, it is unavailable for public viewing without a court order. 

How Do I Seal Juvenile Criminal Records in Idaho?

Juvenile records and convictions may be sealed under certain circumstances in Idaho. It is important to repeat that a sealed record is not publicly available without a court order.

If an individual was convicted of a felony or if they were incarcerated as a juvenile, they may be eligible for record sealing if five years have passed since either:

  • The individual turned 18 years of age;
  • The individual was released; or
  • The court terminated its jurisdiction, whichever is latest.

In Idaho, there are 19 specific convictions which are not eligible for juvenile record sealing. Most of these are sexual or violent crimes. An individual may also be eligible for record sealing one year after the court ends its jurisdiction or if when the individual reaches 18 years of age, whichever is later if:

  • They were convicted of a misdemeanor;
  • They were charged but not convicted of a crime; or
  • They did not serve time.


A juvenile record sealing request must be in writing. The court will review the individual’s request and approve or deny the expungement. If an individual needs assistance with the juvenile record sealing process, they should contact a criminal defense lawyer.

What is the Process for Expungement and Sealing of Adult Criminal Records in Idaho?

The laws in Idaho limit the expungement and sealing of adult criminal records. There are many convictions which an individual cannot have expunged.

Following the Idaho expungement process, an individual may be able to expunge:

  • Arrest records;
  • Deferred judgments; and
  • Information of the Idaho Sex Offender Registry.

An individual may expunge an arrest record if they were arrested but not charged with a crime or if they were acquitted. In these cases, the individual may make a request to the Idaho State Police to expunge their record.

To request an expungement an individual must file an Expungement Application with the Idaho State Police. The individual must attach a copy of their acquittal order to their application.

Another option in Idaho is deferred sentencing, which is also known as a partial expungement. Under certain circumstances, an individual may be able to dismiss a criminal charge or reduce it to a misdemeanor after completing the terms of their probation. 

The individual must make a written request. The court will then determine their eligibility. If an individual needs assistance with a partial expungement, they should consider contacting a criminal defense attorney.

What About Idaho Expungement and the Sex Offender Registry?

If an individual is required to register as a sex offender, they may become exempt from the registry requirements 10 years after their:

  • Release from incarceration; or
  • Parole, probation, or supervised release.

In addition, the individual must complete sex offender treatment and present evidence that they have not committed any additional offenses. They must also show that they are no longer a risk to the community. This process may require a court hearing.

If an individual becomes exempt from sex offender reporting, they may also ask the court to expunge their information from the Idaho Sex Offender Registry. This, however, does not expunge their conviction, it simply removes their information from the registry.

What Are the Associated Fees and Paperwork?

An expungement claim requires an application as well as supporting evidence to be submitted. It may be helpful to have the assistance of an attorney for these applications to ensure that they are properly completed.

There may be filing as well as records fees associated with an expungement claim. If an individual hires an expungement or a criminal defense attorney, they may also be charged attorney’s fees and costs.

What Are the Implications of a Successful Expungement?

If the Idaho State Police or a court grants an individual’s petition, they may lawfully state that the expunged criminal record does not exist. When employers search for the individual’s Idaho criminal record, those charges will not be present.

It is important to note, however, that the expunged records will still be available to law enforcement agencies with a court order. This includes felony expungements in Idaho.

Do I Need an Idaho Expungement Attorney?

It is essential to have the assistance of an Idaho expungement lawyer for any expungement issues or concerns you may have. The laws in Idaho on expungement and record sealing vary depending on the individual’s age and their criminal case. 

Your attorney can assist you with any applications for expungement and record sealing. Your attorney will represent you during any court hearings and provide you with the best chance of sealing or expunging your records.

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