Looking to access criminal records in Idaho? Criminal records are available to the public, but you need to know where to look. To help, this guide will provide answers to frequently asked questions along with resources you’ll need to access records.
In Idaho, a criminal record begins once a person is involved with law enforcement or the judicial system of the state. In other words, the arrest, incarceration, and sentencing are all recorded. Every update is added to a person’s criminal record.
While many states are moving towards searchable online systems, it isn’t available in every state. Criminal records are considered public records, which are governed by the Idaho Public Records Act and gives the public access to these records unless they’re protected by a court order.
To know where to find Idaho criminal records, continue reading for additional information.
What is a criminal record?
A criminal record is an official document detailing a person’s criminal convictions, pending criminal cases, prior arrests, and other interactions with law enforcement agencies. Additional names for a criminal record include criminal history record, rap sheet, and a police record.
As with marriage records and court records, criminal records are generally public records in the United States and can be accessed through a criminal background check. However, public access to specific criminal record information varies from state to state. In the State of Idaho, criminal records are maintained by the Idaho police Bureau of Criminal Identification. They update all criminal history records.
What is included in an Idaho criminal record?
As criminal records are kept by law enforcement agencies at all levels of government in the United States, an Idaho criminal record may vary in format and content depending on the law enforcement database from which it is accessed.
Generally, an Idaho criminal record will include the following information:
- A person’s full name and possible aliases
- Personal information such as age, date of birth, sex, ethnicity, height, weight, and other physical characteristics
- Fingerprints and mugshot
- Misdemeanor criminal offenses and convictions
- Felony criminal offenses and convictions
- Traffic records
- Past and outstanding arrest warrants
- Prior arrests
- Pending and dismissed charges
Why would someone access a criminal record?
There are many reasons to access a criminal record. Most commonly, people search criminal records as a way to run a background check on a particular person. They’re also used by law enforcement to identify or locate people involved in unsolved crimes or by the court system to determine an appropriate sentence after a conviction.
An individual may want to access his or her own record as well. It is not uncommon for people to request their own records to see what information is available to the general public. In some cases, a record could be inaccurate or include outdated information. If that is the case, it is important to have the record corrected.
What’s the difference between an infraction, misdemeanor, and felony?
When you access a criminal record, the person listed on the record may have an offense listed. Criminal offenses are usually broken into three categories: Infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
An infraction is a minor violation, a misdemeanor is more serious, and a felony is the most serious type of crime. To better understand the information listed on a criminal record, here’s a quick overview of each offense and its severity:
- Infraction: A small traffic violation or littering are considered infractions. An infraction is a minor violation of the law. Usually, punishments are a warning or a fine. Typically, no jail time is associated with an infraction.
- Misdemeanor: If someone were to get a DUI or a drug violation, it is considered a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is more serious than an infraction but less severe than a felony. Jail time of less than a year or probation are usually associated with these types of crimes. Likely, the offender will do time in a local or county jail.
- Felony: Murder, rape, and arson are considered felony charges. A felony is the most serious type of crime. Offenders are typically sentenced to jail for more than a year and are likely held in a state or federal facility.
What is the difference between an Idaho arrest record and an Idaho criminal record?
An arrest record is an official document including the details of a specific arrest. A criminal record is a more comprehensive document that includes a person’s entire criminal background known to law enforcement agencies.
Both types of documents are usually public records in the United States, although information about specific arrests may be sealed and rendered inaccessible to the public for a variety of reasons.
Whether an arrest record or a criminal record is accessed, the information listed is for state crimes only. If a person is involved in a federal crime, this information is not listed on a state record.
How do I search for an Idaho criminal record?
In Idaho, criminal records can be searched on the official site of the Idaho State Police by requesting a check. In order to do so, it is necessary to complete a set of inked and rolled fingerprints, along with a Fingerprint Criminal Background Check Form, Payment Authorization Form and payment. Fingerprint cards require certain information that includes the subject’s name, aliases (including maiden and previous married names), current address, country of citizenship, birth date, place of birth, as well as the reason for being fingerprinted and signature of the person being fingerprinted. An official taking the fingerprints must date and sign the fingerprint card, and the date must be within 180 days of the submission.
Name-based criminal background checks are also possible by filling out a Name-Based Criminal Background Check Form and sending in the applicable fee.
In the state of Idaho, arrests of more than a year old that don’t have a disposition cannot be given to a non-criminal justice agency.
Payments must be made by cash, check, or credit card in the amount of $20, with an additional processing fee of $1 plus 3% of the total transaction for any credit or debit card payments. Requests can be mailed to the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) or hand-delivered. Note that the BCI does not call or fax with the results and requesters should allow time for processing as they are answered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
How do I obtain a physical copy of an Idaho criminal record?
The main way to obtain a physical copy of Idaho’s criminal records is through the mail.
To obtain the physical copy via mail, a form must be filled and submitted to the Idaho State Police where fingerprint checks are done. Fingerprints checks are done to ensure verification of identity before processing the criminal records. To obtain the criminal records of another individual, signed written consent must be provided to the police.
A fee of $20 is charged for the fingerprint check and $1 for processing. The payment should be made either via cash, credit card, or debit card to the Idaho State Police.
The form is to be mailed to:
Idaho State Police
700 S. Stratford Drive
Meridian, ID 83642
The physical copy will be mailed to the return address that was provided while filling the request form.
How do I search for Idaho criminal case court records?
It is possible to search for criminal case court records through the Bureau of Criminal Identification, the division of the Idaho State Police that maintains the state’s central repository of criminal history information. Through this automated database, one can access records based on fingerprint arrest records that have been reported to the BCI from the state’s criminal justice agencies. The information is available online to authorized criminal justice agencies.
Due to the fact that court records are public records and can be easily obtained by the public, all information on trials and all court information can be found through the state’s iCourt Portal. By searching for either the case number, name of the individual or business involved or name of the attorney who was in charge of the case, records can be obtained.
In a case where the record is not available or to seek further information and clarification on a specific criminal case court record, speak with the court clerk at the courthouse where the case was tried. The clerk may ask you to fill out a formal request form that provides direction on the case you’d like to see. In some cases, a small fee to copy files is charged.
Does Idaho allow criminal records to be sealed or expunged?
Sealing and expungement of criminal records are very rare in Idaho. While there is a process in place, there are strict requirements.
Criminal records can only be expunged if:
- A person was arrested but not charged within one year.
- A person was acquitted of all offenses.
- The crime committed is a juvenile offense.
For sealing of records, it can only occur if:
- Documents contain highly personal information.
- The information in the documents can endanger lives.
- The information is false and may damage a person’s reputation.
Due to the hard procedures involved in sealing or expungement, a person can opt to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor on the criminal records.
How can I have false information on an Idaho criminal record corrected?
If there is any false information on an Idaho criminal record, it is important to contact Idaho’s Bureau of Criminal Identification where all criminal records are centrally managed. The Bureau of Criminal Identification can be contacted via telephone: 1-208-884-7130.
How long are Idaho criminal records kept on file?
For misdemeanors that were not convicted in Idaho, the criminal records are kept on file for a period of one year. For juvenile offenses, the criminal records are kept on file until the individual reaches the age of 18 then the records are subject to mandatory expungement.
All other Idaho criminal records, which include felonies and other sexual offenses, are kept on file for life.
Lastly, those charges that were brought up and then dropped without judgment are still kept on the criminal records for life unless expungement or sealing takes place.