Area of Law:
A criminal record can be a bar to certain types of employment, licensing, holding public office, and even the right to vote. Most states allow for a process called expungement that will remove certain arrests or criminal convictions from the offender’s record.
Depending upon the laws of the state in which you live and the nature of the crime, you may be able to get an arrest or conviction sealed or erased from your legal record. After the expungement process is complete, you will not need to disclose the conviction on a job or school application, and in most instances no record of the arrest or conviction will show up during a public records inspection or background check commonly done by potential employers, landlords, and educational institutions.
An expunged arrest or conviction may not be completely erased, however, and ordinarily will remain an accessible part of a person's criminal record, accessible to certain government agencies, including law enforcement and the criminal courts. This limited accessibility is also known as a criminal record being "under seal." In some legal proceedings, an expunged conviction that is under seal may still be considered as proof of a prior conviction.
In Idaho, the following types of records may be expunged:
- DNA records
- Photos of juveniles
- Registration of sexual offenders in a central registry
- Criminal history records
Individuals who may be eligible for an expungement in Idaho include:
- A juvenile taken into custody, photographed and fingerprinted
- Any person who was arrested or served a criminal summons and who was not charged by indictment or information within one year of the arrest or summons
- Any person who was acquitted of all offenses
- A person who is granted exemption from registration as a sexual offender
- A person whose DNA profile has been included in the state database and databank whose conviction has been reversed and the case dismissed
- Juvenile offenders, except for those offenses and conditions lists under Idaho Code 20-525A
In Idaho, after a record has been expunged, it cannot be accessed for general law enforcement or civil use. Upon order of the court to expunge DNA records, the Idaho state police will destroy the DNA sample related to the person convicted, unless the police determine that the person must submit to DNA sample and thumbprint impression as a result of a separate conviction. The bureau of forensic services is not required to destroy an item of physical evidence obtained from the DNA sample if evidence relating to another person would also be destroyed.
For more information on expungement in the state of Idaho, go to the USLegal website.