Boise Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal Defense Attorney
Craig Atkinson

Criminal Defense Attorney

Craig Atkinson is our office’s Criminal Defense Attorney in Boise, Idaho.  He has been practicing exclusively criminal defense since 2009.  If you would like to set up a free consultation today with him, call our office 208-571-0627.

Mr. Atkinson has handled the following types of misdemeanor and felony crimes over the years:

Traffic Crimes

Crimes Against Persons

  • Domestic Violence (Domestic Battery and Domestic Assault, and in the presence of children)
  • Assault (Simple and Aggravated)
  • Battery (Simple and Aggravated)
  • Robbery
  • Stalking
  • Mayhem
  • Battery on Law Enforcement
  • Battery on Medical Personnel
  • Disturbing the Peace
  • Video Voyeurism

Sex Offences

  • Rape
  • Injury to a Child
  • Lewd and Lascivious Conduct with a Minor Child
  • Sexual Assault of a Minor
  • Sexual Exploitation of Minor Children (Child Porn Possession)

Crimes Against Property

  • Theft (Grand Theft and Petit Theft)
  • Malicious Injury to Property
  • Burglary
  • Trespassing
  • Arson

Drug Crimes

  • Possession
  • Trafficking 
  • Distribution
  • Prescription Drug Fraud

Other Crimes

  • Resisting and Obstructing Law Enforcement
  • Fish and Game Violations
  • Felony in Possession of a Firearm
  • Discharge of a Firearm in Public
  • Prostitution
  • Urinating in Public
  • Probation Violation
  • Contempt of Court
  • Juvenile Cases

If you are seeking a Criminal Defense Attorney, call Atkinson Law Offices today, and schedule a free same-day consultation.

The Start of a Criminal Case

You will want a Criminal Defense Attorney from the very beginning of your criminal case until the end.


Criminal cases begin when someone accuses you of a crime.  Anytime someone accuses you of a crime the police will likely want to speak with you. Before you talk to the police, you should consider speaking to a Criminal Defense Attorney.  Do not speak to the police alone.

The Charge

After the police complete their investigation, they will file charges. Once the police charge you with a crime, you should call a criminal defense attorney to discuss the charges against you.  That way the attorney will be able to advise you of your rights.  He will also be able to tell you what the possible consequences are of the charges you are facing.  Finally, an attorney can help you minimize the damage you are facing in the case by preparing early.

The Arrest

Once you are charged, you will likely be arrested, unless it’s a minor crime.  Sometimes the arrest and criminal charge are contemporaneous. Sometimes you are first charged, then arrested.

The Bond

If the police arrest you, the court will set a bond on the case.  Sometimes the bond is already set when the police arrest you. You can immediately post the bail to bond out.  Sometimes it is not set until your first appearance in court.  If the court sets it at your first hearing, your Criminal Defense Attorney can assist you in getting the bond set low.

The Arraignment

The arraignment is your first court appearance.  If you bonded out, you would appear out of custody.  If you are in jail, you would appear in custody.  The court will often hear bond arguments at this time.  Your Criminal Attorney can represent you at this time in attempting to get the bond set low. The Court will decide how much of a flight risk you are, and how much of a threat to the community you are.  The court will then set the bond accordingly.  The Court will notify you of your legal rights, and the possible consequences of your charges.

Misdemeanor Court

If the state charges you with a misdemeanor, the procedures will be slightly different than they are in a felony case.

The Plea

In a misdemeanor case, your Criminal Defense Attorney will advise you to plead ‘not guilty‘ at the arraignment.  If you plead not guilty at the arraignment, then the judge will set the matter for a pretrial conference and a jury trial.

Misdemeanor Pretrial Conference

The pretrial conference will be your first hearing where your Criminal Defense Attorney will attempt to settle the matter with the state prosecutor.  This hearing is also to discuss where the case currently stands and if the case is ready for trial.

Misdemeanor Jury Trial

If you and your Criminal Defense Attorney are unable to resolve the matter with the state prosecutor, then you will have to go to trial.  A misdemeanor jury trial is a hearing where six jurors are called to sit in judgment on your case.  They will have to decide whether the state has proven every element of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.  Their decision must be unanimous.  

Misdemeanor Sentencing

If the jury finds you guilty, or if you enter a plea agreement and plead guilty, the court will set the matter for a sentencing hearing.  A sentencing hearing is a court hearing where the judge will decide what to do with you.  In a misdemeanor, he could sentence you to jail, probation, monetary penalties, classes, license suspensions, etc.

Felony Court

A felony matter will proceed differently after the initial arraignment than a misdemeanor case does.

Felony Preliminary Hearing

After your arraignment, the court will set the case for a preliminary hearing.  A preliminary hearing is a hearing where a judge will decide whether there is probable cause for the state to bring the charges against you.  In most cases, the judge will find probable cause.  It is a low standard.  However, sometimes you can get an offer from the prosecutor at this stage to waive the hearing.  This offer will stay on the table unless you enter a not guilty plea.

Felony Arraignment

If the court finds probable cause or if you waive your preliminary hearing the court will set the matter for a district court arraignment.  This hearing is similar to your initial appearance, but in a court that handles felonies.  The court will read your rights to you, and you will give you an opportunity to enter your plea of guilty or not guilty.

If you enter a plea of not guilty, the court will set the matter for a pretrial conference and jury trial.  If you enter a plea of guilty the court will set the matter for a sentencing hearing.

Felony Pretrial Conference

A pretrial conference is a hearing where the parties meet with the court to go over any pretrial issues.  The court will inquire about any settlement agreements.  The court will ask whether any legal motions need to be heard by the court.  And the court will see if the matter is going to be ready for the trial.  If the parties have come to a settlement agreement, the defendant can enter a plea at this time under that agreement.

Felony Jury Trial

A felony jury trial is a hearing where twelve jurors are called to decide whether the state can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.  Your criminal defense attorney will represent you at this hearing.  The jury’s decision must be unanimous.  If the jury determines that the state has not met their burden, then the matter is dismissed.  If they decide that the state did prove their case, then the case is set for a sentencing hearing. 

Felony Presentence Investigation

If a defendant is found guilty at a jury trial, or if he enters a guilty plea under a plea agreement, the court will set the matter for a sentencing hearing.  Before the sentencing hearing, the court will order the defendant to undergo a presentence investigation.

A presentence investigation is an investigation where a probation officer puts together a report on the defendant.  The officer will investigate the defendant’s family history, criminal history, mental health history, current and past relationships, substance abuse history, etc.  All of this will be collected and presented to the court for the court’s consideration before the sentencing hearing.  Your Criminal Defense Attorney can assist you in helping present yourself to the investigator.

Felony Sentencing Hearing

A sentencing hearing is where the court will determine what to do.  A sentence can include, prison, jail, probation, treatment, fines, etc.  Possible penalties will depend upon the type of charge, the offender’s characteristics, criminal history, employment, etc.  The court will also be interested in whether the defendant has expressed remorse, acceptance of responsibility, etc.  Your Criminal Defense Attorney will argue to the court on your behalf.