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My son was charged with a misdemeanour when he was 18 for…

Customer Question
My son was charged...

My son was charged with a misdemeanour when he was 18 for smoking weed in a car, does he have to pay for that for the rest of his life? He can't get a decent job, or rent an apartment because of that.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

He lives in Idaho

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

None, we don't know if there are any avenues to take for this

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Just if there is anything I can do about it.

Submitted: 25 days ago.Category: Legal
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5/26/2018
Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 25 days ago
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 15,043
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 25 days ago

Good evening,

The right to have a record sealed or expunged (erased) so that it isn't public record varies largely by state, and the laws in Idaho regarding that are pretty awful.

In Idaho, you can have your case dismissed based on Idaho Code 19-2604, but the record that you have been charged is still there. A search for your case on the Idaho State Repository will show that you were charged, even if the case has been dismissed or you’ve been granted a Withheld Judgment. The record will reflect the disposition of the case; for example, “Dismissed By Court” or simply “Dismissed.” Evidence that an individual was charged and perhaps convicted of a crime in Idaho will never fully be erased. There will always be a record of what violation they were charged with, whether they were convicted, acquitted at trial, given a withheld judgment, or the charges dismissed. The only exception to this rule is if the court has sealed the case, which generally only occurs in juvenile or certain domestic relations cases.

Once you have been charged, absent a court miracle or clerical mistake, the fact that you were a suspect in a criminal case will show up on the Idaho State Repository. Additionally, there will always be a record on the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC for short). This is a national database that only law enforcement personnel have access to, but that record lists every arrest and every charge in your history. There is no real procedure to get these records expunged or erased.

Do you know if the court case resulted in a withhold of judgment? In a withhold, the court will hold off on entering a formal judgment of conviction against you when you plead guilty. The judge will instead withhold judgment and after a defendant has successfully completed probation, they can petition the court to dismiss their case. The beauty of a withheld judgment is that it allows a person to honestly say that they have not been “convicted” of the specific crime they were charged with. Keep in mind, however, that there will still be a record of the charge and the guilty plea on the Idaho State Repository.

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 25 days ago

Bot***** *****ne - there's really nothing your son can do, regrettably. Absent a change to the law itself -which would require the state legislature to act on it and it to be signed into law - this is how things will remain. It's not fair, but it is legal.

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
Oh boy, that answer is fairly technical to me, I really don't know if he was convicted, or what. So please sum up if there are any steps I can take for my son? I just know that they charged him for smoking weed in a car, but beyond that I don't know if it was taken any futher.
Customer reply replied 25 days ago
if it was his car, his property, it's still illegal?
Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 25 days ago

Bot***** *****ne, no you can't. The way Idaho law is written, there's no way to seal or erase the record. There will always be something that shows up in a background check.

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 25 days ago

State law in Idaho says that the record will always show up in background check. There's just no mechanism to erase it legally.

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 25 days ago

I don't know the circumstances of the arrest/charge, but while I don't believe it's fair for an individual to always carry this with them (especially on a very minor charge) that is the law and it is legal.

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 24 days ago

Was there anything I could clarify for you, or additional information about this you needed?

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