Analysts: Lindsay Atkinson and Parrish Miller
Bill description: HB 467 would prohibit law enforcement officials from performing warrantless arrests for misdemeanors.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the US Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the US Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
Both the Fourth Amendment of the United State Constitution and Article I, Section 17 of the Idaho Constitution read: “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.”
HB 467 upholds the spirit of these two constitutions by removing current provisions in Idaho law that allow warrantless misdemeanor arrests. Arrests are seizures of one’s person, and to execute an arrest based on the mere probability that the person in question committed an offense is an unreasonable practice.
This bill is consistent with the Idaho Supreme Court’s 2019 ruling in State v. Carke. In the court’s opinion, Justice Horton concluded, “The framers of the Idaho Constitution understood that Article 1, Section 17 prohibited warrantless arrests for completed misdemeanors.”
Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?
HB 467 would decrease the frequency with which individuals are deprived of their liberty through arrest based on supposition rather than on proof. It would remove law enforcement’s ability to perform warrantless misdemeanor arrests.