Can I Get a DUI Sentence Deferred in Idaho?

February 13, 2018
In many states it’s possible to obtain a deferred sentence in a criminal case after pleading guilty or being found guilty. A person is placed on probation or supervision, and if all terms and conditions of the court’s order are fulfilled, a judge can vacate any conviction.

Withholding Judgment
Idaho has its own version of deferring sentencing in DUI cases. It’s known as withholding judgment. If somebody has a DUI record, it can get in the way of educational, job and housing opportunities. A person with no criminal history who has never had a criminal judgment withheld might be able to avail himself or herself to a withheld judgment rather than a judgment of conviction. In a DUI case, that individual could be placed on a term of probation, and if all conditions of probation are satisfied, the judgment will be dismissed.

What Happens to Your Record?
The fact that a judgment of conviction has been withheld doesn’t affect a court’s record. The arrest and prosecution will show, and since it’s a public record, anybody can run a criminal background check on you and find the record of proceedings. No conviction of record will show though. Keep in mind that the offense can be used as a prior offense if you’re arrested for a DUI again. If an employment school or housing application asks you if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, you could truthfully answer that you have not. If it asks you whether you’ve ever pled guilty or been found guilty of a crime, you should answer in the affirmative.

Nearly all criminal lawyers will advise you to go to trial if you’re truly innocent of the crime that you’re charged with. You probably won’t want to plead guilty to an offense in return for judgment being withheld under those circumstances. If you’ve been charged with DUI or any other crime, and have no criminal history or an insignificant one, and you’ve never had a judgment of conviction in the past, you’ll want to contact an Idaho DUI Lawyer for more information. After carefully listening to you and answering your questions, we can get your case pointed in the right direction.

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