Overview of a misdemeanor case 

Initiating prosecution: 

Person may be charged and brought before a court for any citable offense upon the filing of an Idaho Uniform Citation or a complaint and summons to appear.  The citation requires the defendant to appear in court on the citation at the time certain which shall not be less than five (5) nor more than twenty-one (21) days after the date of the citation.


First Appearance and Arraignment:

The defendant appears before the clerk or the court on or before the appearance date to enter a plea to a misdemeanor citation or complaint.

At the first appearance of the defendant before the court on a uniform citation or sworn complaint, the court informs the defendant of his constitutional rights and the rights provided in the Idaho Criminal Rules. The defendant has the right to enter a plea to a misdemeanor citation or complaint before the court. If the defendant enters a plea of not guilty, the court sets the bail bond, if any, and the next hearing.  That hearing is called a pretrial conference. If the defendant enters a plea of guilty, the court may impose sentence or may appoint a later time for imposing sentence. 

A defendant may also appear, answer and have judgment entered through an attorney, who either appears in person or files, at or before the time for appearance, a written appearance and answer on behalf of the defendant.



At the time of the arraignment, each case is assigned a pre-trial conference and a trial date.  The purpose of a pretrial conference is to bring the parties together to determine if they can reach a satisfactory resolution to the case.  In the event a resolution is not reached the matter is set for a jury trial or a court trial. If a jury trial is set the court will also set a second pretrial conference.  The purpose of this second pretrial conference is to allow the parties another opportunity to resolve the case and to discuss procedural matters involved in the trial.  The parties to the action may stipulate to a continuance of the pre-trial, the court may approve or disapprove the continuance. 


Change of Plea:

If a resolution is reached between the parties the case can be set for a hearing in which the defendant will change their plea to guilty.  In most cases, after the defendant pleads guilty the court will impose sentence. 



Trials are either "jury trials" or "court trials."  A jury trial in a misdemeanor case consists of six jurors.  A court trial occurs where the parties may agree to have the case decided by a judge, rather than a jury.



A probationer is supervisied by Bonneville County Adult Probation.  A probationer is subject to searches, drug testing, and counseling or other special terms and conditions that the court may require.  There are some fees associated with being on probation.  The main phone number for the probation department is: (208) 524-7914. 



At sentencing, the court may enter an appropriate judgment of conviction, impose sentence, set fines, restitution, costs and fees.  The court may suspend the sentence and place the defendant on probation.


Bonneville Map

Bonneville County

605 N Capital Ave
Idaho Falls, ID, 83402
Phone: (208) 529-1350