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This publication was made to offer general legal information, not for specific legal advice, which can only be given by a lawyer. This publication reflects the state of the law in effect at the time of publication. You should consult with your own lawyer for advice and to make sure that you are aware of the most recent changes in the law. The following are numbers you may contact for information:


Court Assistance Office 382-7178

Idaho Legal Aid 345-0106

Idaho Volunteer Lawyer Program 1-800-221-3295

Valley County Prosecutorís Officer 382-7120

Valley County Victim Witness Coordinator 382-7123



Things to remember if you are arrested.

1. Do not resist arrest. Even if you believe it is an illegal arrest, you should not resist arrest, it could result in additional charges.

2. You do not have to say anything. You are, however required by law to correctly identify yourself.

3. You do not have to consent to anything except the arrest itself, however, there may be penalties for not consenting to certain tests, such as field sobriety tests and tests for the concentration of alcohol in your system if you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

4. You have the right to a lawyer if you are in custody and being questioned. If you cannot afford a lawyer, the court will appoint one for you.

5. If you are being held in a jail or detention facility, you have a right to a hearing before a judge, within 24 hours of your detention, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, to determine if there is sufficient reason to continue holding you.

6. If you are under 18 years old, your parents will be notified as soon as possible after your arrest if you are going to be held in detention.

7. Be honest.


*Juvenile Law-this section does not make sense

If you are under 18 and are charged with an offense, you may be petitioned in to court, you may be placed on supervised probation with Valley County Juvenile Court Services and you may be taken into custody. If the charges are serious enough, the state may petition the court to prosecute you as an adult.


*Laws Regarding Harboring a Runaway

A person who knowingly or intentionally provides housing or other accommodations to a child (17) years of age or younger without the authority of one of the following SHALL BE GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR. A person convicted of a violation of this law may be punished by imprisonment and/or fines.


1. The custodial parent or guardian of the child.

2. The State, County, or City thereof.

3. The one having legal custody of the child.


*Accessories and Aiding in the Commission of Crimes:-need info for this section


*Search Warrant

Police may obtain a search warrant only after showing the judge that there is probable cause to believe that evidence of a criminal offense, contraband, or anything illegally possessed, is located in the place to be searched. Police must have a warrant to search private property, such as a residence, vehicle, or luggage, except in a few cases including the following:


1. If you have been legally arrested and physically taken into custody, a full search of you may be made, and a more limited search of your vehicle may be made if you were arrested in it or near it.

2. If police have reason to suspect that you are involved in illegal activity and also reason to suspect you are armed, they may "pat-down" your clothing for weapons.

3. If you consent to the search or if someone else with the right to consent does so.

4. If there is no time to get a warrant and it is necessary for police to act quickly to obtain evidence or to prevent you from disposing of it, such as if the suspected items are in a vehicle.

5. If police see something in plain view, which they believe to be contraband or evidence of a criminal offense.

6. If you are the subject of a search warrant, you have the right to receive a copy of the warrant and a receipt for anything taken from you.


*School Search and Seizure

The following rules apply to the search of school property assigned to a specific student (locker, desk, etc.) and the seizure of items in his/her possession:


1. Periodic inspections of school property including lockers, may be conducted at any time by an official representative of the school.

2. Except in the instance of general inspections, search of an area assigned to a student should be for a specific item and be in his/her presence unless there is reasonable suspicion of an immediate threat to the health and safety of others.

3. There should be a reasonable cause for school authorities to believe that the possession of certain items constitutes a crime or rule violation.

4. Illegal items such as firearms, weapons, illicit drugs, or other materials or objects which would potentially pose a threat to the health and safety or security of others may be seized by school authorities.

5. Items which are used to disrupt or interfere with the education process may be temporarily removed from a studentís possession.


*Gun Laws

No one under the age of 15 may have or use a firearm without the knowledge and consent of a parent or guardian, and then only at a place at least one mile outside any city limits. Most cities have ordinances forbidding anyone discharging a firearm or air gun within the city limits. A weapon may not be carried concealed on the person or in a vehicle unless a license is obtained from the local Sheriff. It is illegal to have a firearm which has had the serial number altered or removed. A person between the age of 12 and 16 may obtain a hunting license but only after completing a course of safety instruction and only when the application is made by a parent or guardian.


*Drug Laws

The penalties for offenses involving illegal drugs or large amounts of marijuana can be quite harsh. The possession of even a small amount of marijuana is against the law. Any vehicle used to carry or transport drugs can be seized. It is illegal to have any drug paraphernalia in your possession.


*Alcohol Laws

The purchase, consumption, and possession of an alcoholic beverage by a person under 21 years of age is punishable by a fine. Possession of an alcoholic beverage with a broken seal, accessible to any occupant in a motor vehicle, is a separate offense. The parents of any underage person found consuming or in possession of an alcoholic beverage will be notified by the police. Violations of liquor laws are treated as misdemeanors requiring an appearance in court. Drinking alcoholic beverages, including beer, has a progressive effect on people; drinking a little can lead to drinking a lot.


*Legal Ramifications of Drug and Alcohol Use and Consumption

Possession and Consumption of Beer

Possession and consumption of beer or alcohol by an underage individual is a misdemeanor. Note that this crime does not require that the underage individual be legally intoxicated: possession or consumption is sufficient. This crime may be committed at a public or private gathering and includes possession or consumption in a motor vehicle. Thus, an underage individual who possesses or consumes beer or alcohol during a party at a fellow studentís residence has committed a crime.


Underage Purchasing

It is a misdemeanor for an underage individual purchasing, attempting to purchase, or misrepresenting oneís age in purchasing or attempting to purchase beer or alcoholic beverages.


False ID

Displaying or possessing a fictitious or fraudulently altered driverís license or State identification card is a misdemeanor. To display or represent another personís driverís license as your own is a misdemeanor. It is also a misdemeanor for anyone to lend or permit another person to use his or her driverís license.


Contributing to a Minor

Furnishing beer or alcohol to an underage individual is a misdemeanor. An example of this crime is the situation where an of-age brother or sister of an underage individual purchases alcohol for the underage persons.


Open Container in a Vehicle

It is a misdemeanor for anyone to have any receptacle containing beer or alcohol in the vehicle if the original seal is broken. This crime is commonly referred to as an "open container" and a person may be charged despite the fact that the individual has not consumed the beer or alcohol.


Driving Under the Influence-Homicide

If an individual who is under the influence of alcohol, any controlled drug or substance, or a combination thereof, unintentionally or negligently causes the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle, that individual may by guilty of Vehicular Homicide, which is a felony. It is not necessary to prove that the individual intentionally caused the death of another.


Alcohol or Marijuana While Driving-Penalty/Cost

In the event an individual consumes or uses alcohol or drugs and subsequently operates a motor vehicle, the individual subjects him/herself to being considered:

1. Driving under the influence of alcohol.

2. Driving under the influence of marijuana or any controlled drug or substance.

3. Driving under the combined influence of alcohol and marijuana or any controlled drug or substance.


The crime may be a misdemeanor or a felony and the individual may be prohibited from driving for a specified period of time. The costs associated with this crime are significant.

Possession/Distribution of Marijuana

If anyone knowingly possesses marijuana, that person has committed a misdemeanor or a felony depending upon the amount possessed. Note that burned marijuana residue or marijuana seeds are considered to be marijuana, and will subject the individual possessing such substance to potential criminal penalties. Anyone who distributes marijuana is guilty of a felony. In addition, an individual can be charged with a crime if the individual is simply present in an automobile where marijuana is being used in his or her presence, despite the fact that the individual may contend he or she did not partake.

Being Present When Drugs are Being Used by Others

It is a misdemeanor to be present knowing that a controlled drug or substance is being illegally stored or used therein. Thus, if an individual attends a party at another residence and is aware that controlled drugs are being illegally used, the individual has committed a crime, despite the fact that he or she may have simply observed others illegally using the controlled substance.

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Last modified: January 31, 2000
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