Will I Go to Jail for Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charges in Idaho?

This can be a tricky question. Typically you have already spent a night or two in jail at the outset of the case if you've already been charged with misdemeanor Domestic Violence. In the State of Idaho, most law enforcement agencies will actually make an arrest for charges of Domestic Violence. Even on a misdemeanor not committed in their presence, the police will find a way to make an arrest happen, which is why it is likely you've spent a night or two in jail if you've already been charged.

So, now that the case has begun, the question becomes if you will go to jail at sentencing for a misdemeanor Domestic Violence charge after you've pled guilty or are found guilty at trial? The answer to that question is possibly, but probably not. That's at least the answer for charges in Ada and Canyon Counties. In any misdemeanor Domestic Violence case the judge has the legal authority to send you to jail for up to 6 months, double that if the domestic violence was committed in the presence of a child. However, given jail space and other alternative sentencing programs (Community Service, Sherriff's Inmate Labor Duty (SILD), Work Release, House Arrest, etc.) it is not typical that someone will actually do more jail after sentencing on these misdemeanors. 

Most of what we see in Ada and Canyon Counties on these cases is that you will be sentenced to 1-2 years of Supervised Probation. This means that you'll have a probation officer that you will meet with that requires you to do certain things, like Drug and Alcohol testing. You can go to jail if you do not do what is asked. Every Domestic Violence case where someone actually pleads guilty to a crime of Domestic Violence will also require a Domestic Violence evaluation. The evaluation will almost always recommend 52 weeks of Domestic Violence treatment. Therefore, you'll have to attend treatment for these 52 weeks as well, or risk being in violation of probation. 

Although this is what is typically seen, every case is very different in facts in circumstances. On top of the conduct committed, the judge will look at other factors such as criminal history, the Domestic Violence evaluation, victim impact statements, and anything else they may believe is relevant. 

You need a Boise criminal defense lawyer on these cases. They are complicated, and even though you might not go to jail, there are significant long term consequences in other ways. For example, Domestic Violence convictions can prohibit you from carrying firearms in the future. Aaron Hooper, Attorney at Law has significant experience in Domestic Violence cases. Aaron Hooper worked almost exclusively as a Felony Domestic Violence prosecutor in Canyon County and has dealt with many of these cases as a criminal defense lawyer. He understands the complexities in these situations, and he can provide insight from that perspective. Please call if you have specific questions related to your case.  

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