What is Expungement?
Idaho offers expungement of adult criminal records. Expungement deletes your criminal record and restores you to the status you had before the offense. The state removes the record from all official sources, with one exception. Idaho keeps a confidential file of expunged records that only judges may see. In other words, anyone else such as employers, landlords, banks, and so on, will not see an expunged record.
Idaho law allows courts to expunge juvenile records, so these records can be seen only by a court order. State law also allows expungement of a prostitution conviction if you were a victim of human trafficking.
Expungement in Idaho is very limited. You can expunge charges and arrests, but you cannot expunge most convictions.
Who is Eligible for Expungement?
In general, you are eligible to have a nonconviction record expunged if the charges were dismissed, you were found not guilty or acquitted, or you were arrested and not charged within one year.
You are eligible for expungement if you were the victim of human trafficking and were arrested for or convicted of prostitution, and you did not claim the defense of coercion during your trial.
You are eligible for expungement of juvenile offenses, but not serious violent offenses, after a waiting period of one to five years.
You are eligible to be removed from the Idaho sex-offender registry after 10 years of good conduct, with exceptions for aggravated, repeat, and violent offenses.
If you are uncertain whether you are eligible for expungement, consult an attorney.
What Effect Does Expungement Have?
The Idaho State Police expunge nonconviction records. Once the record is expunged, your charges and arrest are erased. The record disappears and you can legally deny being arrested or charged.
When a court grants an expungement of a juvenile adjudication, the record is sealed. It cannot be seen without a court order and in most cases, you can legally deny having a record.
When Can I Apply for Expungement?
You can apply to the Idaho State Police for expungement of a nonconviction either immediately or after one year. For any other expungement or type of relief, you must ask a court. How long you must wait depends on your circumstances.
Here are the circumstances in which you can apply for expungement:
- If you are applying to the Idaho State Police for expungement of a dismissal of charges or an acquittal, you can apply immediately. If you were arrested or served a criminal summons but not charged within one year, you must wait until that one year is up.
- If your disposition was deferred or your sentence was suspended, and you want to ask the court for a set-aside, you must wait until after you have successfully completed probation.
- If you were a juvenile felony offender, and you want to ask the court for expungement, you must wait until you are 18 years old, or five years after release, or five years after the court's jurisdiction ends, whichever is later.
- If you were a juvenile misdemeanor offender, and you want to ask the court for expungement, you must wait until you are 18 years old, or one year after the court's jurisdiction ends, whichever is later.
- If you were the victim of human trafficking and convicted of prostitution and you did not claim the defense of coercion, there is no wait to ask the court for expungement.
- If you are a sex offender, and you want to ask a court for expungement from the sex-offender registry, you must wait 10 years.
- If you were convicted of a felony and your disposition was deferred, or you were not sentenced to prison, and you want to ask the court for a reduction to a misdemeanor, you must wait five years.
How Do I Apply for Expungement?
Here are the five steps to apply for expungement:
- Look at the Idaho State Police "Expungement Flow Chart," to check your eligibility. To access the chart, visit the Idaho State Police website here: Expungement Flow Chart.
- Complete the expungement form. To access the form, visit the Idaho State Police website here: Expungement Application.
- Get certified documents from the arresting agency and the court showing that you are eligible for expungement, such as a criminal citation or criminal complaint and summons, indictment or information, and court order of acquittal or dismissal.
- Make copies of everything, including one complete set for yourself.
- Mail the completed expungement application form and the supporting documents to the Idaho State Police at this address:
Idaho State Police
700 S. Stratford Dr., Suite 120
Meridian, ID 83642
There is no fee for this type of expungement.
More Information About Expungement
For more information about expungement or other types of relief in Idaho, visit the related links.
The Papillon Foundation
Collateral Consequences Resource Center