Like any other state, theft laws in the State of Idaho are complicated. Generally, a person commits a theft when he or she attempts to permanently deprive another person of property without their consent. The foundation for what constitutes a theft in Idaho might include any of the following behaviors:
- Using deception to take control of another person’s property or identity.
- Embezzlement by misappropriating money or control of money that has been placed in a person’s trust.
- The use of extortion or threatening to harm a victim or their property in order to obtain control over that property.
- Being in actual or constructive possession of stolen property.
- Taking possession of lost or misdelivered property without taking reporting it to authorities.
- Obtaining possession and control over property by fraud, deception or misrepresentation of relevant and material facts.
- The theft of labor or services.
Petit Theft and Grand Theft
There are two levels of theft in Idaho. First, there is misdemeanor petit theft, and then, there is felony grand theft. The issue of whether a person might be charged with petit or grand theft depends on the value of the property at issue. The threshold value is $1,000. If the value of the property that was allegedly stolen is less than $1,000, the accused person will be charged with petit theft. If the value exceeds $1,000, he or she will be charged with grand theft. Other offenses specified in Idaho Code section 18-2407(1) are also classified as felonies.
Any person who pleads guilty or is found guilty of petit theft in Idaho can be sentenced to up to 364 days in a county jail and be required to pay a fine of not more than $1,000. The general rule is that a person who pleads guilty to or is found guilty of grand theft in Idaho can be sentenced to a minimum of one year and up to 14 years in state prison. A court can also impose a fine of up to $5,000. There are exception to this rule that lean toward an increased sentence.
Any person who pleads guilty to or is found guilty of retail theft (shoplifting) is liable to the merchant for the retail value of the merchandise plus damages of not less than $100 and not more than $250. If a lawsuit is filed to recover the value of the merchandise and damages, the defendant can also be assessed the costs of the lawsuit plus reasonable attorney fees. For purposes of retail theft, Idaho Code section 48-703 contemplates removal of price tags, switching price tags or marks of value or other markings that aid in determining the value of a product.
Coeur d’Alene Theft Defense Lawyer
Theft is a crime of moral turpitude that goes directly to one’s trustworthiness. Even a conviction for misdemeanor theft can brand a person as being inherently dishonest. That conviction can operate to interfere with educational, housing and employment opportunities. If you’ve been charged with a theft in or around Coeur d’Alene, don’t give the police any kind of a statement or confession. You have both the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney of your choice. Exercise those rights and contact this office right away. We’re going to listen to you closely and fully evaluate all of the evidence. After that, you’ll be advised of your full range of legal options. Contact our Coeur d’Alene theft defense attorney right away after any theft arrest.