Bannock County Prosecutor
STEVEN F. HERZOG
“I would like to welcome you to the web site of the Bannock County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. I hope that you find what you are looking for on this site. Please let me know if there is other information you believe would be useful to have accessible from this site. The mission of the Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office is to preserve and enhance the quality of life of Bannock County residents by fostering an environment of safety and security. To that end, this Office is dedicated to the pursuit of justice.”
Here you can search for court records, make payments, or get county contact information.
You can read more about the duties of the prosecutor’s office in Idaho Code §31-2604.
Contact Our Office
Have a question? Call us at 208-236-7280 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bannock County Prosecutors in the Criminal Division work diligently toward the pursuit of justice while protecting the community we serve. To accomplish this essential work, the Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office has organized its Criminal Division into specialized units. The Criminal Division prosecutes all felony cases that happen within Bannock County, and misdemeanor cases that occur within Bannock County, including misdemeanors and infractions committed inside the city limits of Lava Hot Springs, McCammon, Downey, Arimo, and Inkom, including violent and non-violent offenses.
The Magistrate Division prosecutes misdemeanor and infraction cases that occur within Bannock County and within the city limits of Lava Hot Springs, McCammon, Arimo, Downey, and Inkom. Prosecutors work closely with law enforcement agencies, such as the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho State Police, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Idaho Transportation Department’s Port of Entry. Some of the many types of offenses handled within the Magistrate Division include Fish and Game violations, alcohol and drug related offenses, assault, battery, theft, disturbing the peace, and traffic violations.
The Felony Division works closely with all local law enforcement agencies, including the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, the Pocatello Police Department, the Chubbuck Police Department, the Idaho State Police, Idaho Fish and Game, and Idaho Transportation Department Port of Entry, in the investigation and prosecution of felonies. Occasionally, the Felony Division works with out-of-county and out-of-state law enforcement agencies to effect the extradition of people accused of having committed felonies.
Once felony charges are filed, cases are assigned to individual prosecutors in preparation for preliminary hearings. Prosecutors must present sufficient evidence in the preliminary hearing to demonstrate to the presiding Magistrate Judge that sufficient probable cause exists to maintain the charge that the defendant committed the crime or crimes alleged. In other words, the prosecutors must show that it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the charged conduct. If the Magistrate Judge determines that sufficient probable cause exists, her or she will bind the case over to district court.
The Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office reviews cases presented or initially filed by our law enforcement partners and evaluates whether there is enough evidence to support moving forward with prosecution. Many factors are taken into consideration when making the decision to pursue charges—the most important of which include the facts of the case, available evidence, and the witness statements, all of which are weighed against the criminal statutes before the determination is made to charge a person with having committed a crime.
The Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office Juvenile Division handles all types of cases involving juvenile offenders, including felony, misdemeanor, and status offenses. Examples of status offenses include: runaways, juveniles beyond the control of parents, and curfew violations. Juvenile justice has its own unique set of rules that were designed with the intent to rehabilitate and correct, allowing many records to be expunged once the juvenile completes the terms of his or her probation. Idaho has no avenue for the expungement of adult criminal records. The purpose of the rehabilitation, correction, and expungement is to prevent juveniles from getting caught up in the criminal justice system.
Our juvenile prosecutors also handle involuntary adult metal commitment cases, child mental commitment cases, and commitment cases for the developmentally disabled.
The juvenile courthouse is located at 137 S 5th Ave. Pocatello, ID 83201
The Civil Division represents the government of Bannock County. Because the Civil Division represents the county government, its attorneys CANNOT provide legal advice to the general public. For assistance with personal legal issues such as contracts, zoning issues, landlord/tenant disputes, or other civil matters, you must seek private legal counsel.
The Civil Division of the Bannock County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office provides legal representation for all elected officials and department managers in their official capacities. Its attorneys represent the County in civil cases prosecuted or defended on the County’s behalf. The Civil Division attorneys work hand-in-hand with the Bannock County Commissioners, elected officials, and department managers, and advise them on many issues, but the ultimate authority to make decisions on behalf of Bannock County rests with those County Commissioners, elected officials, and department managers, in accordance with Idaho law.
The Civil Division provides legal advice to County elected officials and department managers on a wide variety of topics, including drafting and interpretation of County ordinances, contracts, bidding and procurement, grants, real estate transactions, leases, bankruptcies, property tax issues, medical indigency, planning and zoning, law enforcement liability, and tort claims.
The Civil Division also advises County elected officials and department managers on employment issues, and represents the County in workers’ compensation and unemployment claims. In addition, the Civil Division conducts regular training programs for County elected officials, department managers, supervisors, and employees on a number of law-related topics.
For assistance in finding an attorney, contact the following:
Idaho State Bar: 208-334-4500
Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.: 208-667-9559
Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program: 208-334-4510
Victim Witness Services
Bannock County is acutely aware of the negative impact crime has on families, individuals, and the community as a whole. Most citizens are not exposed to the criminal justice system until they become a victim of crime. Our office understands that this may be the most difficult time for a person to learn about the complex criminal justice process. The primary objective of our Victim/Witness Services is to provide victims and witnesses with easy access to information about their cases and provide them with support and services throughout the prosecution. These services are available to help victims cope with the trauma and aftermath of the victimization and to lessen the inconveniences often associated with participation in the criminal justice process. We want to help alleviate any difficulties you may have during your journey through the criminal justice system. It is only through your cooperation that offenders can be brought to justice.
VICTIM BILL OF RIGHTS:
Article I – To be permitted to be present at all criminal justice proceedings.
Article II – To be entitled to a timely disposition of this case.
Article III – To be given prior notification of trial court and appellate Proceedings.
Article IV – To be given information about the sentence, incarceration, or release of the defendant.
Article V – To be heard, upon request, at all criminal justice proceedings considering a plea of guilty, sentencing, incarceration, or release of the defendant, unless manifest injustice would result.
Article VI – To be afforded the opportunity to communicate with the prosecution and to be advised of any proposed plea agreement by the Prosecuting Attorney prior to entering into a plea agreement in criminal offenses involving crimes of violence, sex crimes, or crimes against children.
Article VII – To be allowed to refuse an interview or other contact with the defendant or with any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, unless such request is authorized by law.
Article VIII – To have your stolen or other personal property held by law enforcement agencies returned to you as soon as it is no longer needed for evidence.
Article IX –To be notified whenever the defendant is released or escapes from custody.
Bannock County Victim/Witness Coordinator:
Additional Victim Resources:
Family Services Alliance
Bright Tomorrows Child Advocacy
Crime Victim Compensation
Q&A’s Child Sexual Abuse
After Your Child Discloses Abuse
Coping with Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse
Coping with the Emotional Stress of the Legal System
Kids Go To Court Booklet
Kid’s Safety Plan
In April of 2018, Bannock County became the third county in Idaho to offer a specially trained and cerified Courthouse Service Dog, to help calm and reduce anxiety in victims and witnesses as they traverse the court process. Salem, a black Labrador Retriever has undergone special, extensive training and knows approximately 40 commands.
Salem is a wonderful addition to Bannock County, and with the help of his handler, the Bannock County Victim Witness Coordinator, he is able to aid many individuals in navigating the court process with less tension. Some of Salem’s specialties include accompanying children during forensic interviews conducted at a local child advocaty center, uplifitng witnesses preparation for court hearings, being on the witness stand to comfort a witness while testifying, and serving as emotional support during sentencings, all while never disrupting the investigation or court process. Salem’s calm demeanor combined with his specialized training is comforting and soothing, which can reduce people’s anxiety, sadness, and fears during a rather traumatic time.
What's the Difference: Protection Order vs. No Contact Order
PROTECTION ORDER (PO)
NO CONTACT ORDER (NCO)
Who requests it?
The victim of domestic violence and/or stalking
Who is eligible to be protected?
Spouses; former spouses; persons related by blood, adoption, or marriage; persons who live or have lived together; persons who have had a child in common; adults who have had or are in a dating relationship, custodia parents, noncustodial parents, or guardians on behalf of minor children who have had or are in a dating relationship.
How can I get one?
You can obtain a petition or application for a protection order online, or go to Family Services Alliance at 208-232-0742, or the Crisis Line 208-251-4357.
The State requests no contact orders. You can contact the prosecutor’s office handling the criminal case for more information. There is no cost.
How can it be changed?
By a judge only. You may request changes, in the same manner, you requested the initial order.
By a judge only. You may request the judge to change or remove the order by filling out paperwork on the first floor of the Bannock County Courthouse. The court will set a hearing at which you must appear. The judge will hear from you, the State, and the defense before deciding whether to modify or remove the order.
To whom does it apply?
The person or people the judge specifies.
The person charged with a crime. The protected party should also respect the no-contact order.
When does it expire?
As specified in the Court’s order.
When the judge specifies or the State can petition the court to extend it beyond the maximum penalty period of the case.
What happens if the offender violates the order?
A violation of the order is a misdemeanor crime. You should report any violation to the police.
A violation is a crime. You should report any violation to the police.
What happens if I violate the order?
A violation of the order is a misdemeanor crime. You may be prosecuted for violating the order you requested.
A violation of the order is a misdemeanor crime. You may be prosecuted for violating the order you requested.
What is Domestic Violence?
The United States Department of Justice Domestic Violence website states:
“The term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
In an emergency, victims of domestic violence should call 911 or contact state or local law enforcement officials, who can respond to these crimes. Individuals in need of non-emergency assistance can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visit www.TheHotline.org.”
Child Sexual Abuse:
Child sexual abuse is the exploitation of a child under 18, for the sexual gratification of an adult or an older child. Often, the offender will use force, trickery, bribes, or threats, or will pressure the child into sexual awareness or activities. The abuse often begins gradually, with acts of inappropriate touching like tickling, and will increase over time. This early predatory behavior is most often referred to as “grooming.” Because of this gradual progression, children often cannot tell when the touching began. Children normally do not tell anyone about the abuse. When children do tell, it is a process, wherein they may disclose the least invasive touching first. Your reaction is critical. If you become angry or upset, it will impact whether the child continues to make disclosures.
Types of Sexual Abuse:
- Sexual touching and fondling
- Exposing children to pornographic materials
- Masturbating or other sexual behavior in front of the child
- Photographing a child for sexual purposes
- Rape or attempted rape
- Verbal and emotional abuse of a sexual nature
Frequent urinary tract infections (UTI)
Withdrawal from family, friends, or usual activities
Bed wetting or soiling
Lacks concentration or has difficulty remembering
Excessive bathing or poor hygiene
Sleeping problems, nightmares, or insomnia
Difficulty making decisions
Reluctance to undress
Rashes or itching in genital areas
Fearful of certain places, things or people
Avoidance of touch
Unexplained stomach aches, headaches or vomiting
Fear of bathroom or shower
Violence or aggressions against younger children
Difficulty walking or sitting
Receives gifts or money from a questionable source
Sexually aggressive or promiscuous behavior
Does not want to be left alone
Clingy or whiny
*It would be nice for each of these columns to have its own color, so the columns look separate and read up and down individually, rather than looking like it reads left to right.
Stalking refers to repeated unwanted contact that harasses and threatens a person, causing him or her fear. It does not always involve physical contact, but can escalate to the point of physical violence. Stalking behaviors come from the need for the stalker to maintain a sense of power and control, as seen in domestic abuse.
Stalkers are motivated by a desire to control their victims’ actions and feelings, and by a desire to maintain some type of connection with them–regardless of their victims’ wishes–through manipulation and control. Stalkers frequently threaten and harass, and in some instances their behavior will escalate to physical violence.
Stalking, when any person “willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another person or a member of that person’s immediate family,” is prohibited by Idaho state law. (Idaho Code § 18-1705)
Idaho law defines “harassing” as:
A knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.
And “course of conduct” as:
A pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of this definition.
If you are being stalked, keep a journal of the stalking behavior. Having a record of phone calls, drive-bys, text messages, social network postings, and other means of attempted contact or observation are helpful to law enforcement officers and prosecutors. When keeping a journal, provide as much detail as possible. Include information like dates, times, witnesses, things the stalker said or wrote, and other types of behavior. Photographs of injuries inflicted by the stalker, as well as of property that has been destroyed or vandalized are also helpful. Photographs and videos of the stalker’s behavior also are helpful, but only take them if it is safe to do so. Keep this journal and the photographs and videos in a secured location.
Patterns of Stalking Behavior
While every stalker’s pattern of behavior is slightly different, there are predictable stages that stalkers often follow. Understanding how a stalker may move through these stages is helpful to show how stalking behavior can escalate in frequency, intensity, destructiveness, and level of danger:
Phase 1: Unwanted Contact – Stalkers attempt to “woo” their victim.
The efforts in this phase are designed to establish or maintain a relationship against a victim’s wishes. They attempt to “prove their love” to their victims by:
- Gathering personal information from the victim’s friends, employers, family members, neighbors, social media postings, advertisements, mail and package delivery, etc.
- Making repeated phone calls, or sending long or a large volume of e-mails or letters.
- Sending notes, flowers, and attempting other romantic gestures.
- Following, waiting for, and “coincidentally” running into the victim.
- Asking other people to try to “talk to” or “convince” the victim to have a relationship with the stalker.
Phase 2: Escalation – Stalkers begin to use more intrusive behavior.
When a stalker’s initial advances are rejected, or they no longer feel connected to their victim, the intrusiveness, frequency, and severity of the harassment and stalking behaviors usually increases. As in domestic violence situations, stalkers may intimidate victims in order to coerce them into returning to the relationship, or simply to maintain a sense of connection with, and power over, their victims. Stalkers may:
- Spread rumors, negative things, and/or false information about the victim to friends, family members, employers, faith organizations, schools, civic groups, athletic groups, etc. Often, stalkers threaten to “expose” their victim in an effort to control other people’s perceptions of the situation, even if the “exposure” is based on lies.
- Make direct and indirect threats through intimidating phone calls, e-mails, or text messages, and/or by sending/leaving notes. (IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR A VICTIM TO KEEP COPIES OF ALL COMMUNICATION FROM THE STALKER IN THE EVENT THAT THEY NEED TO PROVE THEY HAVE BEEN OR ARE BEING STALKED). Threats may be of kidnapping, taking the children, causing a bitter divorce or custody battle, murder or bodily harm, taking the victim to court, destruction of property, etc.
- Become more persistent in following the victim.
- Leave evidence to remind a victim of the stalker’s presence.
- Break into a victim’s home.
- Leave dead animals where a victim will see them.
- Leave weapons or bloody objects where a victim will see or find them.
Phase 3: Violence – Stalkers resort to more violence.
As in domestic violence relationships, stalkers may resort to violence when the other “lesser” behaviors either do not get them what they want, or have stopped working. When stalkers/abusers feel they are losing control, they may resort to using violence to assert their power and dominance over their victims. Stalkers may use:
- Severe threats, including blackmail.
- Vandalism of the victim’s vehicles and other property.
- Physical attacks.
- Sexual assaults, including rape.
- Attempted murder.
Other stalking behaviors may include:
- Harassing phone calls – either in frequency, or in the content of the call.
- Threats – such as entering or threatening to enter a victim’s home when no one is at home, threatening to report the victim to authorities when no crime has occurred, or other threats meant to cause apprehension or fear.
- Monitoring the victim’s activities by using GPS devices; by using a victim’s friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers to monitor and report back on the victim’s whereabouts and activities; or by requiring that a victim “check in” at certain intervals, or answer their phone at all times.
- Spying on the victim – a form of monitoring the victim that may include hiding and spying, overtly showing up at an event or appointment, and keeping watch, or cyberstalking.
- Stalking Behavior Checklist
Driving Under the Influence
Driving Under the Influence:
A victim of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) includes a victim that has suffered property damage, physical injury, or death as a result of an impaired driver. While most people first think of an impaired driver as a “drunk driver”, the Idaho statute includes drivers who are impaired as a result of using alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicating substances.
Idaho Code Sections for DUI & DUI Related Crimes
Driving Under the Influence: Under Idaho Code § 18-8004 (1) (a), it is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle if he/she is under the influence of “alcohol (concentration of .08 or higher), drugs, or any other intoxicating substances…” Idaho Code § 18-8005 outlines all penalties for those persons who are found guilty or plead guilty to Driving Under the Influence. Penalties include a jail sentence not to exceed six months, fines, and an automatic driver’s license suspension. A second DUI conviction within 10 years doubles the potential penalties. A third DUI within 10 years can constitute a felony conviction with up to 10 years prison, a $5,000 fine, and a 5-year driver’s license suspension. An excessive DUI (0.20 BAC or higher) carries 2nd offense DUI penalties, and a 2nd Excessive DUI within 5 years can be charged as a felony and carries the Felony DUI penalties.
Aggravated DUI: Under Idaho Code § 18-8006 (1), a person who is under the influence, pursuant to Idaho Code § 18-8004 (l)(a) or (1) (c), and causes “great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement to any person other than himself . . . is guilty of a felony.” The penalty for this offense includes a possible 15-year (maximum) prison sentence, $5,000 fine, 5-year driver’s license suspension, and restitution.
Vehicular Manslaughter: Under Idaho Code § 18-4006 “Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being including, but not limited to, a human embryo or fetus, without malice.” (3) “Vehicular – in which the operation of a motor vehicle is a significant cause contributing to the death because of: (b) the commission of a violation of section § 18-8004 or § 18-8006, Idaho Code”. The penalty for this offense includes a possible 15-year (maximum) prison sentence, $15,000 fine, indeterminate license suspension, restitution, and potential for child support to surviving child(ren) of deceased.
What to do if you or a loved one are a victim of a DUI driver:
If you or your loved one become the victim of a DUI driver, you should begin keeping a file with all of the following:
- Documentation, such as photos of injury(ies) and property damage.
- Receipts, prescription costs, and Explanations of Benefits (EOBs) from medical insurance and/or from car insurance.
- Estimates to repair damaged or destroyed property.
- A detailed list of all treatment visits, including dates, times, and mileage to and from medical appointments. A treatment journal to help recall this information at a later date for restitution purposes. Be sure to detail what injuries were sustained, as the criminal justice system can take months and even years to settle, and this information is essential for the judge to know at sentencing.
- If you are interested in suing the DUI driver civilly, you will need to contact a civil attorney. The handling prosecutor cannot provide you any advice on civil remedies.
You may find yourself subpoenaed to appear at the Bannock County Courthouse as a witness in a case. Read below for information on what to expect when testifying.
TIPS FOR TESTIFYING
- Courtroom decorum and expectations. A criminal proceeding is an extremely serious matter. The judge, jury, and court personnel expect witnesses to wear appropriate professional clothing in court and to use appropriate language. Do not curse or swear. Refer to the judge as “Your Honor,” “Judge,” “Sir,” or “Ma’am.” Do not wear hats, headphones, or sunglasses. Do not bring food into or chew gum in the courtroom. Do not talk to other witnesses about the case. Do not talk to jurors. Make sure your cell phone is off, on silent, or not in the courtroom at all.
- Be truthful. State the facts simply and concisely as you know them. Witnesses who “tell it like it is” will be well received by judges and jurors, even if truth seems unfavorable. Do not inflate your testimony.
- Listen carefully to the questions and wait until the entire question is asked. Many witnesses are so anxious about testifying, that they don’t wait until the entire question is asked. As a result, they often answer a different question than intended. Wait until the attorney asks the entire question before starting your answer. Take a breath and collect your thoughts before you answer, so your answer is truthful and lucid. If an attorney objects to a question, wait to answer until the judge instructs you to do so.
- Answer only the question asked – Do not guess or assume. Focus on only the question asked and don’t volunteer information. Take your time and think about your answer. If you don’t know, say you don’t know. If you don’t remember, say you don’t remember. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand the question. Always answer out loud, so the court reporter can make an accurate record. Do not shake or nod your head. If you realize you have given misinformation, immediately advise the judge so you may be allowed to correct the error. If you have already left the stand, tell the prosecuting attorney at the next break.
- Be cooperative and don’t argue with the questioner. Witnesses should be cooperative in answering questions and should not show antagonism on the stand. However, cooperation and courtesy do not require witnesses to give the questioner the answer you think they want. Do not be coerced into giving an inaccurate answer just to appear cooperative. Avoid letting your emotions interfere with your testimony and avoid displaying an “attitude” on the stand.
The Criminal Justice Process
To an outsider, the criminal justice system may seem daunting. This guide describes in general terms how criminal cases are prosecuted in Bannock County, Idaho.
- A Crime is Reported – Most criminal cases begin with a law enforcement agency. Cases are investigated by a city police agency, the county Sheriff’s office, or the Idaho State Police. When a police officer or agency has probable cause to believe that a misdemeanor or felony has been committed, the case is referred to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.
- Suspect Charged – A person suspected of a crime may be charged in one of two ways. The first is through an official Complaint from the Prosecutor’s Office filed with the court. The second is by convening a Grand Jury that makes a charging decision based upon the available evidence.
- Arrest Made or Warrant Issued – Once probable cause is established to show that a crime was committed, the investigating agency either arrests the suspect, or the Court will issue a warrant ordering the suspect’s arrest.
- Arraignment – A suspect’s first court appearance is called an arraignment. At this hearing, the suspect is allowed an opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. Also during the arraignment, the suspect is notified of the charges they he or she faces and what the penalty is for a conviction on those charges, and is either held in jail or released subject to certain conditions imposed by the arraignment judge. The suspect may post bail themselves at this time, allowing for his or her release, or the judge may opt to submit the suspect to the Pretrial Release Program.
- Court Hearings – After the arraignment, but before trial, there are several court hearings that may or may not occur, depending on the type and severity of the case. These hearings include Preliminary Hearings, Pre-Trial Conferences, Motion Hearings, and other hearings as deemed necessary by the circumstances of the case. It is often during these hearings that plea agreements are negotiated and the cases are resolved.
- Preliminary Hearing – This is a hearing to determine whether a person charged with a felony (a serious crime punishable by a term of over one-year in the state prison) should be tried for the crime charged, based on whether there is enough evidence to establish probable cause that he or she committed the crime. A preliminary hearing is held in the lowest local court (magistrate), but only if the Prosecutor has filed the charge without asking the Grand Jury for an indictment for the alleged crime. Such a hearing must be held within a few days after arraignment (presentation in court of the charges and the defendant’s right to plead guilty or not guilty). If the judge finds sufficient evidence to try the defendant, the case is sent to the District Court for trial. If there is no such convincing evidence, the judge will dismiss the charges.
- Pre-Trial Conference – A meeting of the Prosecutor and the defense attorney held before the court prior to the commencement of actual courtroom proceedings. Generally, the term pre-trial conference is used interchangeably with the term pre-trial hearing. A pre-trial conference may be conducted for several reasons: 1) To expedite disposition of the case; 2) To help the court establish managerial control over the case; 3) To discourage wasteful pretrial activities; (4) To improve the quality of the trial with thorough preparation; and (5) To facilitate a settlement of the case.
- Public Defender – Once arraigned, the defendant may be appointed a Public Defender if they cannot afford an attorney of their own.
- Plea Agreement – Often, the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney assigned to the case will extend a plea offer. A plea offer generally requires the defendant to plead guilty in exchange for considerations from the Prosecutor’s Office. Plea offers are generally offered to the defense attorney or Public Defender assigned to the case, then communicated to the defendant. Once the defendant accepts the plea offer, it becomes a plea agreement. The plea agreement will then be filed with the court and a sentencing hearing will be held. Some plea agreements are binding on judges, which means that the judge must follow the plea agreement. And some are not, which means that despite the fact that the Prosecutor, defense attorney, and defendant have reached an agreement as to what the charges and sentence should be, a judge may choose not to dismiss a certain charge, or may choose to enact a more or less severe sentence.
- Trial – A defendant is afforded a chance to defend him or herself at a jury trial or court trial against the charges alleged by the State. Court trials are for minor infractions and are overseen by a judge. Misdemeanor and felony defendants also may choose a court trial over a jury trial. Jury trials include a jury made up of Bannock County residents, only. For misdemeanor crimes, a jury of six people will be selected, and in order to pass sentence on the defendant, their decision must be unanimous. To pass sentence on felony crimes, a jury of twelve (12) individuals must make a unanimous decision. The jury makes the final decision on guilt or innocence based upon the evidence presented to them.
- Acquittal – If a defendant goes to trial and is found not guilty, they are considered to be acquitted and may not be charged again for the crimes that they were accused.
- Conviction – When a defendant is found guilty of their crime by a jury or judge, or pleads guilty, they are considered to be convicted. Convictions may be appealed to a higher court for relief.
- Sentencing – Once a defendant has plead guilty or been convicted of the charges against them, a judge will impose sentencing. The terms of the sentence will vary based upon the type of crime, whether there were any victims, and the severity of the defendant’s previous convictions, if any.
Commonly Used Terms
A court hearing that establishes the identity of the defendant, and the defendant is informed of the charges and of their rights. The defendant is required to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. This is the final preparatory step before the setting of the case for criminal trial. This is the initial appearance of a criminal defendant that takes care of all preliminaries.
Notice to appear in court due to the probable commission of a minor crime. Failure to appear can result in a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.
A serious crime that is punishable for the minimum of a year in prison, or the maximum of death.
And informal meeting between the prosecution and the defense, usually facilitated by a senior judge, to attempt to resolve the case without going to trial. If an agreement is reached at mediation, it will be binding on both parties, but may or may not be binding on the judge presiding over the case.
A hearing to determine whether an individual charged with a felony should be tried for the felony. This determination is based on whether there is sufficient evidence that this person committed the crime. The preliminary hearing is held at the lowest level court, which is the Magistrate Court.
Sufficient reason to believe, based on facts and evidence, that a crime has been committed, or that certain property is connected with a crime. Probable cause must exist for a law enforcement officer to make an arrest without a warrant, to search without a warrant, or to seize property acting on the belief that the items were evidence of a crime.
These take place before the trial, and there are usually more than one. Parties outline the issues to be tried, the evidence to be introduced, the witnesses to be examined, and discovery procedures.
Proceedings before a judge or judge and jury that examine evidence, hear arguments, and decide legal and factual questions to get a final decision.
The Bannock County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office coordinates with all law enforcement agencies in the County to enforce the laws of the State of Idaho, Bannock County, and all the cities within its borders. Convenient links to these laws and ordinances can be found below:
State of Idaho: https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/
Bannock County: https://library.municode.com/id/bannock_county/codes/code
City of Inkom: https://inkomcity.org/city-services/codes-and-regulations-2/
City of McCammon: https://mccammon.municipalcodeonline.com/book?type=code#name=PREFACE
City of Downey: https://downeyidaho.us/
City of Arimo: http://arimo.id.gov/
City of Lava Hot Springs: https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/lavahotspringsid/latest/lavahotsprings_id/0-0-0-1
Law Enforcement Agencies:
Bannock County Sheriff: https://www.bannockcounty.us/sheriff/
Pocatello Police: https://www.pocatello.us/370/Police
Chubbuck Police: https://cityofchubbuck.us/police_dept/
Fort Hall Police: http://www.sbtribes.com/police/
Additional Helpful Websites:
Idaho Sex Offender Registry: https://www.isp.idaho.gov/sor_id/
Sex Offender Search: https://www.isp.idaho.gov/sor_id/search.html
Idaho Department of Corrections: https://www.idoc.idaho.gov/
Idaho Court Self Help: https://courtselfhelp.idaho.gov/
Helpful Information and Links
Bannock County Prosecutor
624 E Center St, Room 204
Pocatello, ID 83201
Closed for all federal holidays
Our office focuses on the goals of Prosecution:
To enforce the law
To serve our community and the interest of justice
To enforce laws regardless of gender, age, skin color, religion, or political affiliation
To advocate for and protect the rights of victims of crime
To educate citizens concerning laws affecting their lives
Bannock County Courthouse
624 East Center
Pocatello, Idaho 83201