About the Ada County Sheriff's Office
- What's the difference between a sheriff's office and a police department?
- How can I get a job with the ACSO?
Arrests and Jail
- What is a charge?
- What is the difference between a criminal case and a civil case?
- What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
- What is the difference between jail and prison?
- How do I check to see if someone has an arrest warrant?
- How do I visit an inmate?
- How do I send mail to an inmate?
- How do I send money to an inmate?
- When should I call 911?
- What if I call 911 accidentally?
- Why do the dispatchers ask so many question when I call 911 for help?
- What agencies does the Sheriff's Office dispatch for?
Records and Property
- How do I get a copy of an accident or incident report?
- How do I request a background check on someone?
- How do I claim lost or stolen property?
- Where do I get a driver's license?
- How do I get a concealed weapon permit?
- What are the requirements for a holder of an Idaho winery license to be able to serve or sell wine at sponsored events?
- Where do I pay a traffic ticket?
- Where can I get fingerprinted?
- What is the difference between a sexual offender and a violent sexual predator?
What's the difference between a sheriff's office and a police department?
The main difference is jurisdiction. A sheriff's office provides law enforcement services and jail services for an entire county while a police department serves a specific city or town. In Idaho, a sheriff's office is responsible for all civil services within a county.
In Ada County, city departments contract with the sheriff's office to oversee record storage and 911 dispatch. Some cities (Eagle, Star and Kuna) also contract for police services.
What is a charge?
A charge is an accusation based on evidence or information. The criminal justice process starts with the pressing of charges. Being charged does not necessarily mean that a person is guilty of a crime. Only a court can decide that. Charges can be brought through the:
- Arrest of an accused person at the scene of the alleged crime;
- Arrest based on a warrant issued by the judge;
- Arrest based on an indictment by a grand jury as the result of an investigation.
All charges must be provable by evidence indicating that more than likely a crime has been committed and that the person charged is the one who more than likely committed the crime.
What is the difference between a criminal and a civil charge?
A criminal case is brought by the authority of the state or federal government, represented by the prosecutor (known as the district attorney or United States attorney). Criminal cases seek punishment such as a fine, jail time, or both as the outcome.
Civil cases usually are brought by private parties or corporations and seek to collect monetary damages.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
A felony is a more serious crime; misdemeanors are less serious. Punishment for a felony carries more than a year in prison. Someone convicted of a misdemeanor usually serves a year or less in jail. Conviction of either a felony or misdemeanor may also carry fines or probation.
What is the difference between jail and prison?
In Idaho, jails are run by sheriffs and are designed to hold individuals waiting for trial or serving a short sentence. Inmates sentenced to less than a year can serve their time in jail.
Idaho prisons are run by the Idaho Department of Correction and are designed to hold only individuals already convicted.
The Ada County Jail operates work release programs, electronic monitoring programs and other specialized services. We provide educational opportunities, substance abuse treatment, and vocational programs while managing inmate behavior.
Where can I get fingerprinted?
You can have a fingerprint card completed at:
Idaho State Police Headquarters
700 S. Stratford Drive
For more information, contact Idaho State Police at (208) 884-7130.
What is the difference between a sexual offender and a violent sexual predator?
A person convicted of certain felony sex crimes is a "sexual offender."
A "violent sexual predator" is a sexual offender who the Sexual Offender Classification Board deems to be at risk of committing a sex offense or engaging in predatory sexual conduct.
For a more detailed explanation, click here.
Click here for a searchable list of sexual offenders registered in Ada County.