Theft and Burglary Defense Attorney in Boise, Idaho
What happens when you’ve been charged with theft in Idaho? Theft charges can be complicated, and it’s very easy for a misdemeanor petty theft to be pushed into felony grand theft. The key to a good defense is to jump in quickly with an attorney who brings years of experience to the table. You don’t need to face this complex legal system alone. We are here to walk you through the process.
Categories of Theft in Idaho
Idaho splits theft into two main categories, per Idaho Code §18-2407: petit theft and grand theft. While theft includes directly taking someone’s property without paying with the intent to keep it for yourself, the umbrella of the legal term theft in Idaho includes but is not limited to the following as well:
- Embezzling money – Theft of funds placed under your care by your employer
- Extortion – Obtaining money through threats or by force
- Receiving or keeping stolen property. This includes if you accidentally bought stolen property and didn’t take steps to return the property to the rightful owner
- Fraudulently receiving property
- Stealing labor or services – For example, hiring someone under false pretenses and not paying them once the service is complete.
Also known as petty theft, this is stealing something that is valued at less than $1,000. The penalty is a misdemeanor, a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to 1 year in an Idaho county jail.
There are certain circumstances outlined in Idaho Code that can push a charge to grand theft.
- Property valued at over $1,000
- Theft or use of a stolen check or bank card
- Theft of a firearm
- Livestock valued over $150
- If a theft of $50 or more happened among a series of other thefts.
Grand theft is a felony, with fines up to $5,000 and a mandatory prison sentence of 1 year that could be as high as 14 years. Beyond that, the court may order you to pay restitution and take an anti-theft course. See Idaho Code §18-2408 for more specifics.
Some charges come with enhanced penalties. If grand theft happens by extortion, the penalty is a fine up to $10,000 and/or up to 20 years in an Idaho state prison. Idaho is still a very rural state, so it is particularly hard on alleged grand theft of livestock. If you are charged with the theft or intentional killing of livestock worth over $150, you face not only the fines and jail time outlined in the section above, the court will also assess the cost of the livestock taken or destroyed. On top of penalties outlined in the section above, the court will also assess the cost to the owner of losing that livestock. You may be responsible for paying that full amount back.
As defined in Idaho Code §18-1401, burglary is entering any property such as a home or store with the intent to commit a theft or a felony. This is a felony offense with a penalty of a mandatory 1 year in an Idaho state prison that can be up to 10 years.
Even a misdemeanor petty theft charge can have life-long impacts. Theft crimes are considered “crimes of moral turpitude,” meaning these charges are morally charged. Any theft on your record can lead to issues finding employment or getting licenses and certifications.
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