Bill description: SB 1342 clarifies that burglary from a business is usually a misdemeanor when the theft is under $300 in value.
Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?
Under Idaho law, a crime that would normally be considered misdemeanor petty theft can be considered felony burglary if it is determined that the offender entered the establishment intending to steal.
SB 1342 clarifies that commercial burglary is a misdemeanor in most cases where the theft is under $300 in value. A first offense carries a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. A second offense within five years carries a fine of up to $2,000 and up to one year in jail. A third or subsequent offense within five years would be a felony.
Felonies are serious crimes that can carry severe penalties, including harsh fines, the suspension of one's civil rights, and lengthy terms of imprisonment. Such classifications should be limited to violent crimes or crimes that represent a significant violation of an individual's rights. It is appropriate that minor acts of theft be treated as minor crimes and that appears to be the intent of SB 1342.
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