Idaho Withheld Judgment | Dismissal

Withheld Judgment | Idaho Law

Idaho Withheld Judgment

What is a Withheld Judgment?

In Idaho, a Withheld Judgment is a case resolution whereby the court never enters an Order of Conviction - they "withhold" meaning the defendant is never actually convicted of the crime. This occurs during the sentencing phase of the case - after the defendant has entered a guilty plea. It is up to the court (judge) to determine if a Withheld Judgment should be granted. If the court chooses to grant the Withheld Judgment, in most ways the case then proceeds exactly as if a conviction had been entered in the case - it is not a get out of jail free card - the punishment will be the same as if an Order of Conviction had been entered (i.e. jail, fines, probation, classes, etc). However, after you have successfully completed the ordered punishment, you can then ask the court to dismiss your case retroactively. The true advantage to a Withheld Judgment is that it allows you to honestly say that you have not been convicted of a crime, as no order of conviction is ever entered.

However, there is a downside. As the ability to have the case dismissed and honestly say you have never been convicted of a crime is the carrot, a Withheld Judgment also has a "stick" if you fail to live up to the court's expectations. If you violate your probation or fail to complete the ordered punishment, because no Order of Conviction was ever entered the court can re-sentence you in the case up to the maximum available punishment under the law. This is no small penalty as you will now be facing a judge who is not likely to be very happy with you.

Punishment Will Be The Same

A Withheld Judgement does not reduce the punishment in the case. In fact, in some limited instances, it may actually increase the punishment - the judge may order a term of probation that otherwise would not have been required. The advantage of a Withheld Judgment is related to how it will show up on your record, not the punishment ordered by the judge. 

You Must Request a Withheld Judgement at Sentencing

A Withheld Judgement can not be put in place after the judge signs an order of conviction in the case - it must be requested and granted by the court at the time of sentencing. Do not wait until after the judge has already entered an order of conviction to make your request!

One Lifetime Withheld Judgment

There are some exceptions but generally - In Idaho, you get one lifetime Withheld Judgment. ONE. The decision on whether to use a Withheld Judgment should be carefully considered. 

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Dismissal After Probation

Don't Forget To Have The Case Dismissed!

A large percentage of the people who use a Withheld Judgment never take full advantage of the opportunity they have been provided. The case is not automatically dismissed after probation or the punishment is complete - you must file a motion for this to take place. Many people, if not most, forget to take this step.

No Withheld Judgment? - Dismissal Still Possible

If you did not request a Withheld Judgment at the time of sentencing, you can still have your case dismissed following successful completion of probation. Take a look at information on a dismissal under Idaho Code §19-2604.

Speak With An Attorney About A Withheld Judgement

It is important that you speak with an experienced Idaho Criminal Defense Attorney regarding your options and the possibility of using a Withheld Judgment in your case. If you would like to speak to us about representing you, requesting a Withheld Judgment, or having your Withheld Judgment dismissed, contact us today - (208) 344-0128. This is a relatively easy process and is quite a bit cheaper than most people think it is going to be. 

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