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. This definition for "Theft" is provided under Idaho Code §18-2403 but their are many different types of offenses that classify as "Theft Crimes".
Common Idaho Theft Crimes
Under Idaho Code §18-2407, Petit or Petty Theft is the stealing of property valued under $1000. This offense is a misdemeanor. A conviction can carry a sentence of up to $1000 in fines and up to one year in jail (See: Idaho Code §18-2408)
Under Idaho Code §18-2407, there are several ways someone can be guilty of Grand Theft:
- The most common is the stealing of property valued over $1000.
- The theft of a firearm.
- Theft by a public servant engaging in their duties.
- Theft of a public record.
- Theft of a check, money order, credit card, or bank card.
- Theft of property of any value through physical force.
- Theft of property of any value through extortion.
- Theft of livestock.
- A series of thefts that when added together exceed a value of $1000.
All Grand Theft charges are felonies and can lead to severe penalties. Under Idaho Code §18-2408 Grand Theft is punishable by a fine of $5000 and up to 14 years in the state penitentiary.
Under Idaho Code §18-6501 it is a felony to take the personal property of another, against their will, through the use or threat of physical force. Robbery is a felony and carries severe punishments of a minimum five years and up to life in prison!
Under Idaho Code §18-1401 it is a felony to enter any property (home, store, etc.) with the intent to commit a theft or any felony therein. Burglary is a felony and under Idaho Code §18-1403 is punishable by a minimum of 1 year and up to 10 years in prison!
Other Theft Crimes
Writing Bad Checks - Under Idaho Code §18-3106 it is a felony to write a check while knowing that the account attached to that check does not contain sufficient funds.
Shoplifting - Under Idaho Code § 18-4624 it is a crime to alter or remove tags from merchandise at a store for the purpose of purchasing the property at a lower price or attempting to steal the property.
Willful Concealment - Under Idaho Code §18-4626 it is a crime to conceal goods with the permission of the store or merchant. This is very similar to shoplifting.
Embezzlement - A person who wrongfully steals or misappropriates property entrusted to him by the rightful owner.
Fraud - A deliberate deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right. There are many different types of fraud but in most cases the purpose of fraud is monetary gain or financial benefits.
Forgery - In layman's terms, a forgery is committed when:
- A person, with the intent to defraud another, makes or alters a document; OR
- A person, knowing they are false, attempts to pass off altered, forged, or counterfeited documents as genuine.
Modes Of Theft
While there is several different types of theft crimes (as listed above) there are also several different ways each of these crimes can be committed.
Theft 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 cause injury or harm.
Theft By Exercising Unauthorized Control
Theft may be committed by exercising unauthorized control, which occurs 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.
Theft By Obtaining Property 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, when he:
- does not intend to engage in such conduct or
- does not believe that the third person intends to engage in such conduct.
Theft 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 (a) under a mistake as to the identity of the recipient or (b) the nature or amount of the property, without taking reasonable measures to return such property to the owner. A person also can be charged with committing theft of lost or mislaid property when he:
- Knows or learns the identity of the owner or knows, or is aware of, or learns of a reasonable method of identifying the owner; and
- Fails to take reasonable measures to restore the property to the owner; and
- Intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property.
Theft Of Labor Or Services
This occurs when:
- A person obtains the temporary use of property, labor, or services of another that 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.
- A person, after renting or leasing a motor vehicle under an agreement in writing which provides for the return of the vehicle to a particular place at a particular time, willfully or intentionally fails to return the vehicle to that place within forty-eight (48) hours after the time specified.
- A person, having control over the disposition of services of others, to which he is not entitled, knowingly diverts such services to his own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled thereto.
Theft Crimes Are Serious - Hire An Attorney That Will Fight For You!
A conviction for a theft crime can carry serious short and long term consequences affecting your freedom, employment, personal relationships, and reputation. On top of any punishment the court hands down, a conviction can be particularly harmful in terms of gaining future employment. The conviction will still surface on 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. Additionally theft offenses are considered "crimes of moral turpitude." This means that licensing bodies may use this as a reason to deny licenses and certifications, such as a contractors license, a nursing license, or a real estate license.
Do not let a theft conviction follow you around for the rest of your life! Many of those people charged are good, productive members of society. Some have been wrongfully accused while others have simply made an unfortunate mistake. Either way, you need a criminal defense attorney who will protect your future, your reputation, and your freedom.
If you have been charged with a theft offense, 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.