Tinder. Bumble. Match. Tik Tok. Instagram. With so many online dating apps and social media outlets, there’s more temptation than ever to step out on your spouse. 

If you’re married, it really doesn’t matter how much you’ve clicked with that person that slid into your DMs or how gorgeous you think the person you started chatting with on Bumble is. We’re not going here to be the moral police, but this behavior seems wrong and like a total dirtbag thing to do. But can you legally get away with it in Idaho? 

Fact or Fiction: It’s Illegal to Cheat On Your Spouse in Idaho

Believe it or not, a handful of states have laws on the books that makes adultery punishable by law. Many of those laws make it a misdemeanor. Idaho wasn’t one of those states. No, up until last year, we took adultery more seriously. Passed in 1972, this verbiage appeared in Title 18 (Crimes and Punishments,) Section 66 (Sex Crimes) of Idaho’s Laws and Rules: 

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This section of law made cheating on your spouse a felony crime punishable with a fine of anywhere from $100 to $1000, imprisonment in a county jail anywhere from three months to one year or being jailed in the state penitentiary for up to three years. 

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So yes, up until one point in 2022…it was technically illegal to cheat on your spouse in Idaho.

Idaho Legislature Amends “Sex Crimes” Section of Law

In 2022, a bill was introduced in the state senate that would, among other things, would repeal Idaho’s adultery law. In the bill’s “Statement of Purpose,” lawmakers explained that the adultery law was unenforceable.  It passed with a vote of  65-5, was signed by Governor Little in March 2022 and adultery was no longer considered illegal in Idaho as of July 1, 2022. 

Not the Only Idaho Law Policing the Bedroom

Technically, a legally single person who has intercourse with someone else who was single, was a no-no in Idaho, even if both parties were both consenting adults. Another article in Title 18, Section 66 read: 

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The penalties were less severe than the ones for adultery, but both parties could face a fine of up to $300, up to six months jail time or a combination of both a fine and jail time. We could actually find instances where this charge was issued. One situation was part of a plea deal. Another was an attempt to discourage teen pregnancy.

The same 2022 bill repealed the fornication law, stating it was unenforceable. 

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The following information was gathered from the United States Census Bureau.

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