Idaho Theft Crimes | Grand Theft

If you have been charged with Grand Theft in Idaho it is important that you understand the charges against you and what your legal rights are. Idaho's theft laws can be complex and severe. You should not try to take on the criminal justice system on your own.

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Idaho Grand Theft

In Idaho, Grand Theft is the theft of money or property valued at over $1000.

Pursuant to the Idaho Law (Idaho Code §18-2403), a "Theft" occurs when: A person steals property and 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 an owner thereof.

What Is Grand Theft?

Theft crimes in Idaho are divided into two primary categories: Grand Theft and Petit Theft (or Petty Theft). Grand Theft is a felony and the more serious of these two offenses. Generally, Grand Theft is defined as the theft of money or property valued at over $1000.

Section 18-2407 of the Idaho Code defines which theft offenses should be classified as Grand Theft and which should be Petit Theft. While the list of theft offenses is long, for the most part Grand Theft is defined by the value (or potential value) of the property stolen or the type of property stolen.

Types of Grand Theft in Idaho (Value Based)

  • Theft of property exceeding a value of $1000 (by far the most common type of Grand Theft in Idaho).
  • A series of thefts that when added together exceed a value of $1000.
  • Theft of property that has an aggregate value over fifty dollars ($50.00) and is stolen during three (3) or more incidents of theft during a criminal episode (a period of up to three (3) days).
  • The deliberate killing of livestock or any other animal exceeding one hundred fifty dollars ($150) in value.

Types of Grand Theft in Idaho (Property Type Based)

  • The theft of a firearm.
  • Theft of a public record.
  • Theft of a check, money order, credit card, or bank card.
  • Theft of livestock.
  • The property is anhydrous ammonia.

Types of Grand Theft in Idaho (By Extortion)

While value and property type cover most of the circumstances defined as Grand Theft under certain circumstances the nature and value of the property does not matter. Under subsection (1)(a) of the statute:

A person is guilty of grand theft when he commits a theft as defined in this chapter and when 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:

  1. Cause physical injury to some person in the future; or
  2. Cause damage to property; or
  3. Use or abuse his position as a public servant by engaging in conduct within or related to his official duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely.

Types of Grand Theft in Idaho (Grand Theft of Livestock)

This is a felony punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).  The $1,000 minimum fine cannot be suspended or withheld.  The person convicted of the offense may also be imprisoned in the state prison for not less than one (1) year nor more than fourteen (14) years.  That means the person convicted will serve at least one year in prison, and possibly more. In addition, the court can assess civil damages, as provided in Section 25-1910 of the Idaho Code.

What is "Theft" Under Idaho Law?

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The definition of "Theft" above is very broad and filled with grey area. In order to clear up any confusion the Idaho Code (I.C. §18-2403) defines several example "theft actions" of Grand Theft (also called "Modes" of Grand Theft):

Theft includes a wrongful taking, obtaining or withholding of another's property, with the intent [to deprive the owner of said property], committed in any of the following ways:

  1. By deception obtains or exerts control over property of the owner;
  2. By larceny; common law larceny by trick; embezzlement; extortion; obtaining property, money or labor under false pretenses; or receiving stolen goods;
  3. By acquiring lost property. A person acquires lost property when he exercises control over property of another which he knows to have been lost or mislaid, or to have been delivered under a mistake as to the identity of the recipient or the nature or amount of the property, without taking reasonable measures to return such property to the owner;
  4. By false promise: A person obtains property by false promise when pursuant to a scheme to defraud, he obtains property of another by means of a representation, express or implied, that he or a third person will in the future engage in particular conduct, and when he does not intend to engage in such conduct or, as the case may be, does not believe that the third person intends to engage in such conduct.
  5. By extortion. A person obtains property by extortion when he compels or induces another person to deliver such property to himself or to a third person by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the property is not so delivered, the actor or another will [take some action causing harm to the person]
  6. Taking or transferring: When a person knowingly takes or exercises unauthorized control over, or makes an unauthorized transfer of an interest in, the property of another person, with the intent of depriving the owner thereof.
  7. Receiving or possessing stolen property: By knowingly receiving, retaining, concealing, obtaining control over, possessing, or disposing of stolen property, knowing the property to have been stolen or under such circumstances as would reasonably induce him to believe that the property was stolen
  8. Theft of labor or services or use of property:
    1. A person commits theft when he obtains the temporary use of property, labor or services of another which are available only for hire, by means of threat or deception or knowing that such use is without the consent of the person providing the property, labor or services.
    2. By renting or leasing a motor vehicle or other equipment under an agreement in writing which provides for the return of the vehicle or other equipment to a particular place at a particular time, and fails to return the vehicle or other equipment to that place within forty-eight (48) hours after the time specified.
  9. A person commits theft if, having control over the disposition of services of others, to which he is not entitled, he knowingly diverts such services to his own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled thereto.

Punishment For Grand Theft In Idaho

All Grand Theft charges are felonies and can lead to severe penalties. Idaho Code §18-2408 outlines the potential penalties.

Grand Theft Penalties:

  • A fine of up to $5000
  • A prison sentence of up to 14 years in the state penitentiary
  • Restitution
  • Probation/Parole
  • Anti-theft course, counseling, substance treatment

Under certain circumstances these potential penalties are increased to: A fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment or not less than 1 year and not more than 20 years, or both. 

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However, the court punishment for Grand Theft may just be the beginning...

The negative effects of a Grand Theft conviction do not stop after you leave the courtroom. Grand Theft is considered a "crime of moral turpitude." As such, those individuals convicted of Grand Theft are likely to suffer serious short-term and long-term consequences beyond those ordered by the court; potentially affecting employment, personal relationships, education, housing, and reputation.  

A Grand Theft Conviction can have the following consequences:
  • Maintaining current employment
  • Higher education applications
  • Gaining future employment
  • State licensing
  • Obtaining professional licenses and certifications
  • Federal Student Loans for education
  • Housing applications
  • other government benefits.

The conviction will appear on any background checks and employers tend to pass on applicants with theft records, fearing them to be dishonest and having the potential to steal from their companies.

Fight Your Idaho Grand Theft Case

Do not let a Grand Theft conviction follow you around for the rest of your life. Let me fight to keep you out of jail and keep a theft conviction off your record.

An experienced Idaho Grand Theft attorney can fight the charge and potentially have the charge reduced or dismissed. Every Grand Theft case is different and the attorneys at Schofield and Young scrutinize the facts of every case to assert the best possible defense. Even if the evidence is overwhelming, we can fight to try and get the charge reduced or limit the punishment as far as possible. Don't fight the system on your own, you have too much on the line. Protect your rights and your freedom.

Contact Schofield and Young about your Idaho Grand Theft case

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