Defense Attorney Jared Martens, of Martens Law Office in Boise, Idaho 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. In some cases, we may discover that you received a withheld judgment or deferred judgment and some relatively simple paperwork needs to be completed to have your conviction dismissed. Whether you were convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor we can assist you in the expungement of your criminal record.
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. If not, 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.
Many juvenile offenders will be eligible for expungement in Idaho. Eligibility depends on the nature of the offense, the sentencing, and the age of the offender at the time of the offense. 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 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.
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, the Idaho Courts find good cause if you completed your probation successfully or were simply fined.
During the 2014 Idaho Legislative Session, two major amendments were made to Idaho Code 19-2604(1). 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”; and finally clarification to the statute was added 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.
If you were involved with the criminal justice system, and are interested in record sealing, dismissal or expungement, speak to Jared Martens at your first opportunity. Very few attorneys have developed the experience of Jared B. Martens in the area of Idaho expungements, record sealing, and dismissals. Contact us now at (208) 344-0994 for a consultation.