Most criminal records are public and can be seen by potential employers, landlords, and schools. Idaho’s criminal records law allow for the expungement and sealing of some (but not all) criminal records. An expungement removes a criminal offense from your record for most purposes. A sealed record is unavailable for public viewing without a court order.
Sealing Juvenile Criminal Records
In Idaho, juvenile records and convictions may be sealed under some circumstances. Again, a sealed record is not publicly available without a court order. If you were convicted of a felony or incarcerated as a juvenile, you may eligible for record sealing if:
Five years have passed since either:
- You turned 18 years old,
- You were released, or
- The court terminated its jurisdiction.(Whichever is latest.)
There are 19 specific convictions that are not eligible for juvenile record sealing in Idaho, most of which are violent or sexual crimes.
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, charged (but not convicted) with a crime, or did not serve time, you may be eligible for record sealing one year after the court ends its jurisdiction or upon reaching age 18 (which ever is later).
Juvenile record sealing must be requested in writing. The court will review your request and either approve or deny the expungement. If you need help with the juvenile record sealing process, consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer.
Expungement and Sealing of Adult Criminal Records
Idaho law limits the expungement and sealing of adult criminal records. Many convictions cannot be expunged. However, you may be able to expunge arrest records, deferred judgments, and information on the Idaho Sex Offender Registry.
You may expunge an arrest record if:
- You were arrested but not charged with a crime, or
Under one of these circumstances, you may ask the Idaho State Police to expunge your record. To request expungement, you must file an Expungement Application with the Idaho State Police. You must attach a copy of the court’s acquittal order to the application.
Deferred sentencing (sometimes called a partial expungement in Idaho) is also available. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to dismiss a criminal charge (or reduce it to a misdeameanor) after completing the terms of your probation. A written request must be made and the court will determine your eligibility. If you need help with a “partial expungement,” consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer.
Expungement and the Sex Offender Registry
If you are required to register as a sex offender, you may become exempt from registry requirements ten years after your:
- Release from incarceration,
- Parole, probation, or supervised release (clarify when/how).
Additionally, you must complete sex offender treatment and present evidence that you have not committed additional offenses and are no longer a risk to the community. A court hearing may be required.
If you become exempt from sex offender reporting, you may also ask the court to expunge your information from the Idaho Sex Offender Registry. However, this does not expunge your conviction—it simply removes your information from the registry.
Associated Fees and Paperwork
Filing and records fees may apply in your expungement claim. If you hire an expungement or criminal defense lawyer, you may also be charged for attorney fees and other costs.
Implications of a Successful Expungement
If the State Police or court grants your petition, you may lawfully state that the expunged criminal record does not exist. When most employers search your Idaho criminal record, the charges will not be present. Expunged records will still be available to law enforcement agencies or with a court order.
Consulting an Attorney
Idaho’s rules on record sealing vary depending on your age and criminal case. A criminal lawyer or expungement lawyer can help guide you through the expungement and sealing process. Additionally, a lawyer can speak on your behalf during any necessary court hearings and give you the best chance of expunging your record.