Misdemeanors in Court
All misdemeanors in Idaho begin with the issuing of a formal citation to the accused. This formal citation is a criminal complaint as well as a summons. The summons specifies when the accused must appear in court.
This first court appearance is known as the arraignment, and it is where the accused is charged, pleads guilty or not guilty, and his or her constitutional rights are read aloud. At this point, an attorney can be hired directly or appointed by the court.
If the accused has been arrested, the court will also go over any bonds that are in place. If the accused pleads guilty, he or she may be sentenced at this court date or at a future pretrial conference.
Certain cases, such as driving under the influence and domestic battery, necessitate evaluations. The sentencing will take place after the pretrial conference in this case. Depending on the crime, there may be more than one pretrial conference.
These trials can be either jury trials with six jurors or court trials. The majority of misdemeanor trials last thirty minutes or less. In Idaho, unlike in other states, the accused has the right to address the court. Witnesses may be summoned, and a defense may be presented. In addition to a conviction, the court may discuss driver’s license suspension.
Probation is another option in which a sentence is withheld and other conditions are imposed. Community service, random urinalysis, counseling, and restrictions on contact with specific people or businesses are examples of such measures. Each misdemeanor is classified into different sections at the time of sentencing.
Misdemeanor classes in Idaho are fairly simple. A Class A Misdemeanor typically entails up to one year in county jail, with or without a fine of no more than four thousand dollars. Burglary of a vehicle, driving while intoxicated, and unlawfully carrying a weapon are common Class A Misdemeanors.
Class B misdemeanor charges typically include DWI, theft of more than $50 but less than $500, criminal trespassing, and evading detention or arrest. Class B misdemeanors are typically sentenced to county jail imprisonment for up to one year, with or without a fine of no more than two thousand dollars.
Misdemeanor expungement is only available to certain people. These include juveniles who were taken into custody and photographed and fingerprinted; anyone who served a criminal summons upon arrest and was acquitted of all offenses; anyone who was granted exemption from sex offender registration; anyone whose DNA profile was included in the state database upon conviction with the reservation that it would be used in court; and juvenile offenders who were not listed under IC 20-525A.
One year after the summons or arrest, an individual may apply for expungement if he or she has already been acquitted of the offense and has no other outstanding criminal cases. If the records are accepted by the appointed judge, they will be sealed from public view. Following an expungement, a person will be able to legally claim that an arrest and summons were never made.