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Old 01-08-2019, 12:39 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 11,677
Originally Posted by griffin1977 View Post
Someone thinking they can steal my important legal ID is bullshit. There is no legal basis for that. Saying "I thought it was contraband" doesn't change that.
Yes, it does.

Theft (like many crimes) is more than just having something that isn't yours. Your mental state matters. Generally, it requires that you're knowingly taking something that doesn't belong to you.

For example, if you accidentally get in the wrong car and drive it away, that's not theft. It's a mistake.

If the clerk has a legitimate and reasonable belief that the license is fake, then he doesn't think that he's taking your legitimate property. He thinks that he's seizing contraband. Therefore: not theft.

Destroying a government id is probably a separate crime. But holding onto it if you think it's fake until the police sort it out likely isn't. It's maybe possible that you have some sort of civil claim against him for wasting your time.