The criminal process in Idaho can be tough, and if you have been arrested and charged with a crime such as a DUI, then you know this better than anyone. Being arrested can be a traumatic experience for any person, but when formal charges are placed against you, your traumatic arrest will become a distant memory. When an individual is charged with a crime, it can be one of the most difficult experiences they will go through in life.
At Ellsworth, Kallas & DeFranco, our criminal attorneys realize the amount of stress you are under once formal criminal charges have been filed and will always acknowledge the severity and seriousness of your situation.
At our comprehensive criminal defense law firm, our attorneys represent clients facing a variety of criminal charges, including:
Theft and Burglary
Juvenile Drug and Alcohol Cases
Clearing Your Record
Driving With Privileges
- Reckless Endangerment
Every year, over 10,000 drivers are arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Idaho. The state of Idaho has a strict 0.08% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) law. Anyone caught driving whose BAC is 0.08% or more and is over the age of 21 can receive fines, a permanent blot on their record, license suspension, and jail time, even if it is the first offense. Mandatory drug and alcohol classes may also be ordered. Drivers with a BAC of 0.20% or greater face enhanced penalties, and a first time offense can result in mandatory jail time, fines up to $2,000, a mandatory license suspension for one year with absolutely no driving privileges whatsoever, and a misdemeanor charge. Those under 21 years old can be arrested with as little as a 0.02% BAC.
The increasing awareness of the problems caused by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has resulted in law enforcement officers, judges and even politicians taking harsher stances against DUI and DWI charges, which can make it harder for the average person to get a fair trial.
That's when you need a tough, experienced attorney on your side. At Ellsworth, Kallas, & DeFranco, our criminal defense attorneys have over 55 years of combined litigation and trial experience. They know how to aggressively seek fair judgments that can keep you out of jail. If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI, call them today. Your initial consultation is FREE! They'll talk to you and tell you exactly what your rights are. They can get you the help that you need in a hurry.
There are many types of drug offenses, and each carry their own penalties in the state of Idaho. Some of these types include:
- Prescription fraud
- Possession/Possession with intent to distribute
Penalties can include incarceration from 6 months to over 5 years and fines ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.
While these penalties are outlined for illustrative purposes only, and subject to amendment and change by the legislature, even the most casual observer can understand that Idaho is harsh when it comes to marijuana. A drug offense conviction carries imprisonment, fines, probation with required drug testing, mandatory rehabilitation, loss of certain rights, and more. Parents convicted of drug charges may have their children removed from their care and placed in foster homes, sometimes permanently. Have you been charged with a drug crime? Our attorneys can negotiate to get your charges reduced or dismissed so you can get your life back. While we cannot make any guarantees with regard to any case, we will fight to help you with your case, including, MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE AND TRIAL. Call us today!
While domestic violence is a serious crime, many charges of battery or domestic violence that are filed are exaggerated and without true validity. Sometimes they are even filed out of spite. Unfortunately, it is relatively easy to file a domestic violence charge and requires little evidence to support a claim. The Idaho Law Code defines different types of domestic violence and their punishments:
Domestic Battery: "Any household member who in committing a battery…inflicts a traumatic injury upon any other household member is guilty of a felony" (Idaho Code §18-918). Felony domestic battery is punishable by a $10,000 fine and/or 10 or more years of imprisonment in a state prison facility.
Domestic Assault: "A household member who commits an assault…against another household member which does not result in traumatic injury is guilty of a misdemeanor domestic assault" (Idaho Code §18-918). This results in a minimum $1,000 fine and up to 6 months of jail time.
Domestic Battery (no injury): Like domestic assault, this charge is classified as a misdemeanor and also carries a minimum $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, we can help. Our attorneys know the ins and outs of the legal system and can get you the fair judgment you deserve.
The police car pulls up behind you, lights flashing and sirens wailing. Suddenly, your mind freezes and you're plagued by questions: What did I do? Did I forget my turn signal at that last intersection? Did I run that red light? How fast was I going? Will I get a ticket or even be arrested? What are my rights and what if they are violated?
Sometimes the traffic violation is simply unwarranted. Other times people go to traffic court without any firm reason to believe that they were in the right at the time they were given the ticket. Most people have committed minor traffic infractions, but over time, repeated violations can result in increased fines, higher insurance premiums, even jail time or license suspension. Unfortunately, the average person usually isn't aware that there are certain rights afforded to him or her under the law.
If you are a hardworking citizen, and you did not truly put anyone in danger or break any laws, you should fight for your right to remain innocent. When pulled over by an officer, do so as quickly and safely as possible. Be as respectful as you can and you will have the highest chance of being taken seriously when defending yourself against the charges. If you fight the allegations in court, remember that it is the state that must prove you were in the wrong, not you. You have certain inalienable rights that are afforded to you in court:
- The right to have a civil-traffic hearing before a Judge or Civil Traffic Hearing Officer.
- The right to have an attorney represent you. If you want to be represented by an attorney you must file written notice with the court at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing date. You will waive this right if you fail to file by the time allotted. The court does not appoint attorneys for civil traffic violations.
- The right to confront witnesses against you and cross-examine them as to the truthfulness of their testimony.
- The right to present evidence on your behalf. You also have the right to have subpoenas issued by the court at no cost to you to compel the attendance of witnesses.
When you are faced with traffic charges, call the attorneys at Ellsworth, Kallas, Talboy & DeFranco. Our attorneys offer personalized service with the experience and knowledge you need to get your clean record back. Call today!
In today's day in age, it is nearly impossible to get around without a vehicle. We rely on personal transportation to get us to the grocery store, to work, to school, and anywhere else we need to go. A suspended driver's license can take away that freedom and mobility.
The Idaho Transportation Department lists the various reasons an individual's driver's license could be suspended or revoked. Some of those include:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony.
- Leaving the scene of an accident in which you were involved, when the accident caused property damage.
- Reckless driving.
- Conviction or action in another state for an offense that, if committed in Idaho, would be grounds for suspension.
- Failing to pay a fine for conviction on an "infraction" charge. (Infractions are a step below misdemeanors and include minor violations like parking tickets).
If your license has been suspended or revoked for any reason, the attorneys at Ellsworth, Kallas, Talboy & DeFranco can help you get your privileges back so you can go on with your life. Call (208) 336-1843 today for a FREE consultation.
Illegal Search & Seizure
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution makes appropriations for the search and seizure of personal property:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
In order to conduct a legal search, a law enforcement officer must have probable cause, which means that there must be a reasonable belief that a crime has been or is about to be committed or that there is contraband present. Remember, you have certain rights that you can use to protect yourself from illegal searches and seizures:
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE:
- to consent to any search of your person or property without a warrant.
- to answer questions from police, or make any statements.
- to open the door to your home unless there is an emergency or the officers have a search warrant.
- to be detained or questioned anywhere, even at airports.
Here are a few more helpful hints to keep in mind should you find yourself in a possible illegal search and seizure situation:
CARS: People who have their possessions, such as backpacks, in someone else's car have no standing to challenge an illegal search. There is no recognized right of privacy in someone else's car unless you are the driver at the time of the search. However, all persons have reasonable expectation of privacy regarding the clothing they are wearing and anything on their person. You may also have the right to challenge the length and validity of the stop if you are a passenger. We are experience in this are of law and can help you.
HOUSE GUESTS: Overnight guests have the same rights as the occupants to object to the illegal search of the host's home. Campsites and motel & hotel rooms are also protected.
BACKYARDS: Renters' and homeowners' enclosed yards (e.g. a yard with a 6-foot fence, even with small cracks) are protected from police peering at close proximity through the fence. However, there is no protection against aerial observations.
IN JAIL: There is no expectation of privacy while in jail, including telephone calls and in visiting rooms, except with attorneys and legal mail.
TELEPHONE CALLS: Calls taking place on land lines, cell phones, and in telephone booths are protected, unless one party agrees to police taps or listening in, but cordless phone conversations do not have expectation of privacy because they can be heard by neighbors with the same frequency.
If you believe you are the victim of an illegal search and seizure, call us today. Our experienced, aggressive attorneys will help you every step of the way.
Judges can be wrong in their rulings. Innocent Idaho criminal defendants may receive unfair sentences and suffer needlessly. These wrongful convictions occur as the result of common mistakes made during the defense process. In many cases, pursuing an Idaho state or federal criminal appeal assisted by an experienced and aggressive attorney can reverse the verdict. Some mistakes made by courts can include:
The trial court may have excluded defense evidence that should have been heard by the jury;
The court may have permitted the jury to hear prosecution evidence that should have been excluded;
Prosecutors can make unintentional errors or engage in intentional misconduct;
Defense attorneys can make mistakes, which deprive the defendant of the effective assistance of counsel.
If you or someone you know has been wrongly convicted, then contact our firm. Our attorneys are exceedingly knowledgeable about the appeals process and will fight for your justice. Your first consultation is FREE so call today!
Juvenile Criminal Defense
The juvenile and adult court systems handle criminal cases differently. In juvenile court, defendants may have different rights before, during and after a hearing or trial. Some crimes may be heard in criminal court, depending on the offense and state laws.
In Idaho, the juvenile court system has jurisdiction over anyone 17 years or younger who has committed a crime. Idaho does not have a minimum age limit like some other states, but rather the court will determine the competency of the individual to stand trial on a case-by-case basis.
Juveniles do not have the right to a trial by jury in most states. Nearly half of all juvenile proceedings are handled informally and involve the accused juvenile admitting guilt and then entering a court agreement to meet certain conditions, including home detention, probation, school attendance, and drug counseling and testing. If a juvenile case is formally tried, it will likely be tried and decided by a judge. Like adults, juveniles are guaranteed certain due process rights, including:
- Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination
- Right to counsel
- Right to call witnesses on their own behalf
- Right to certain procedural protections
- Right to have their parents present when answering questions (in most cases)
Contrary to what some people believe, juvenile offenses may lead to harsh punishments for the minor and even the parents, and should be taken very seriously. If your child has been accused of a crime, call us at (208) 336-1843 and one of our experienced attorneys will talk to you for free. They'll counsel you on the steps you should take and help get the fair judgment your child deserves.