Theft and Shoplifting

Theft is one of the most common crimes in Canada. Even generally law-abiding individuals can find themselves tempted and make a mistake. If you are charged with theft, David Anber can help you defend your case and minimize the effects the charge will have on your life.

Before you can be convicted of theft, the Crown attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: 1) a theft occurred, 2) you are the person who committed the theft and 3) you intended to commit theft. If your lawyer is able to raise a reasonable doubt about any of these factors, you cannot be convicted. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your lawyer may be able to raise doubts about witnesses’ ability to identify you as the person who committed the theft, or, in the case of minor shoplifting, he may be able to argue that you had no intent to steal: you were simply distracted and forgot to pay for the item.

There is no offence called “shoplifting” in Canada. Shoplifting generally falls underthe heading of “theft under $5000” (s. 334(b) of the Criminal Code).

If you are convicted of Theft under $5000, the maximum penalty is two years imprisonment. However,if the theft wasminor and/or it was your first offence, it is unlikely that the Crown attorney will seek jail time. Your lawyer canask that you be “diverted” out of the criminal justice system. This means that you will not obtain a criminal record and can pay your debt to society in an alternative way, such as performing community service or writing a letter of apology. Other sentencing options include: an absolute or conditional discharge (which would result in no criminal record), a fine, a term of probation or a conditional sentence that could be served in the community.

If you are convicted of the more serious crime of Theft over $5000, the maximum penalty is ten years imprisonment. However, as with Theft under $5000, your lawyer can argue that imprisonment is unnecessary and that an alternative sentence would be more appropriate.

If you are located in Ottawa, Toronto, Hull, Gatineau, Brockville, Cornwall, Pembroke or anywhere in Ontario or Quebec, Dynamic Legal Solutions can help you find a lawyer to fight your case.

Click here to ask a question which will be responded to by a lawyer who practices in Ontario and Quebec in this area of the law.

Dynamic Legal Solutions recommends the services of David Anber, a criminal lawyer in Ottawa who practices in Brockville, Cornwall, Montreal, Toronto and across Quebec and Ontario.

Tollfree: 1-888-989-3946