Idaho Criminal Defense and DUI Defense Blog

The Difference Between Infractions, Misdemeanors, and Felonies

Posted by Christi Schofield | Dec 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

Idaho Misdemeanors, Felonies, Infractions
Idaho Criminal Defense Lawyers | William Young and Associates

Idaho Infractions, Misdemeanors, Felonies 

In Idaho, there are three classes of charges: (1) infractions; (2) misdemeanors; and (3) felonies.


An infraction is defined as a “civil public offense” and is not considered a crime. An infraction is resolved by the payment of a fine less than $300 and does not involve any jail time. The fine amount for each infraction is set by statute and cannot be adjusted by the court. Because an infraction is not a crime, you cannot be arrested for one and you cannot plead guilty to one. Rather, you can either admit to committing the infraction and pay the fixed fine, or you can deny the infraction and set the case for a court/bench trial (there is no right to a jury trial). Some common infractions include speeding, following too closely, and dog at large. 

Crimes: Misdemeanors and Felonies

A misdemeanor in Idaho is a crime punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than 6 months, a fine up to $1,000, or both. A misdemeanor charge is more severe than an infraction but less severe than a felony. Common misdemeanors include inattentive or reckless driving, driving under the influence, disturbing the peace, and petit theft.

A felony in Idaho the most severe type of crime you can be charged with. A felony is any crime that is not considered a misdemeanor and that is punishable with death or by imprisonment in the state prison. In certain situations, offenses that are charged as misdemeanors in Idaho may be enhanced to felonies. A felony conviction can have a serious impact on your future. In addition to incarceration, you may also face a wide range of other consequences, such as loss of voting rights, the ability to possess a firearm, and the ability to serve on a jury. All of these rights are typically restored once the period of probation or parole is complete, except if you committed one of the felonies list in Idaho Code 18-310. In that case, your right to possess a firearm is permanently lost.

About the Author

Christi Schofield

Christi represents clients in a wide range of criminal law matters in the Treasure Valley and surrounding areas


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