Theft Charges in Idaho
The charge of theft is governed by Idaho Code §§ 18-2401 – 18-2421.
There are many different actions that might constitute a theft punishable by criminal laws. Generally, theft is stealing the property of another.
A person commits theft when, with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or to a third person, he wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds such property from the owner.
Theft includes the wrongful taking, obtaining, or withholding of another’s property, with the intent to permanently deprive it from the owner, through deception or control.
A theft also may be committed through the acquiring of lost property. This happens when someone exercises control over property of another that he knows was lost, mislaid, or was delivered under a mistake regarding the identity of the recipient, the nature or amount of the property and the receiving party makes no reasonable effort to return property to the owner.
Simply possessing stolen property may rise to the level of a theft if you knowingly receive, retain, conceal, obtain control over, possess, or dispose of property that you know has been stolen or believe to be stolen and you intend to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property, or you use, conceal or abandon the property in a way that deprives the owner of use and benefit permanently; or use, conceal, or abandon the property knowing these actions will deprive the owner permanently of such use or benefit.
What is the difference between grand and petit theft?
Theft is divided into two (2) general levels of offense, grand theft and petit theft.
Grand theft is a felony.
A person is guilty of grand theft when they commit theft the property, regardless of its nature and value, is obtained by extortion committed by instilling in the victim a fear that the actor or another person will cause physical injury to some person in the future, cause damage to property, or use or abuse his position as a public servant in such manner as to affect some person adversely.
Additionally, a person is guilty of grand theft when he commits a theft and when:
- The value of the property taken exceeds one thousand dollars ($1,000); or
- The property consists of a public record, writing or instrument kept, filed or deposited according to law with or in the keeping of any public office or public servant; or
- The property consists of a check, draft or order for the payment of money upon any bank, or a check, draft or order account number, or a financial transaction card or financial transaction card account number; or
- The property, regardless of its nature or value, is taken from the person of another; or
- The property, regardless of its nature and value, is obtained by extortion; or
- The property consists of one (1) or more firearms, rifles or shotguns; or
- The property taken or deliberately killed is livestock or any other animal exceeding one hundred fifty dollars ($150) in value.
When any series of thefts are part of a common scheme or plan, the thefts may be combined into one (1) count and value of the count shall exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), and will be considered grand theft.
When property with a combined value of over fifty dollars ($50) is stolen during three (3) or more incidents of theft during a criminal episode it will be considered grand theft. “Criminal episode” shall mean a series of unlawful acts committed over a period of up to three (3) days.
Theft of anhydrous ammonia will be considered grand theft.
Petty theft is a misdemeanor.
A person is guilty of petit theft when he or she commits a theft and his or her actions do not constitute grand theft.
Petit theft is punishable by a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), jail sentence of up to one (1) year, or by both.
When you are charged with grand theft the punishment will be determined by the specific nature of the case. Each sentence is unique to the case and the person charged.
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