Under the Criminal Code of Canada, theft is the intentional taking or converting to personal use (or another person's use) anything, whether animate or inanimate, in a way that is fraudulent. This is done either for the temporary or permanent deprivation of an owner to his property or interest, to pledge or deposit it as security, or to change its condition such that it can no longer be restored to its original condition.
Theft includes retail theft, breaches of trust, workplace-related theft, shoplifting, price switching and gaming offences. If you are faced with a charge of theft, don't limit your options by simply pleading guilty. There may be many valid defences to apply to your particular case and your circumstances. Kruse Law has handled hundreds of theft cases, so our team of skilled criminal lawyers know which defences can work in your favour.
Defending Against Charges of Theft, Shoplifting, Fraud, or Mischief
A theft occurs as soon as the object that was stolen is moved, is caused to move, or is caused to become movable. Since it is considered a property offence, it may be possible to be accused of multiple counts of alleged theft, especially if the behaviour occurred over a period of time.
Once the charge of theft has been started, your trial will still proceed even if you pay back or replace the amount or item that you have allegedly stolen. Doing so won't drop your charges, but if the case against you is weak, returning stolen goods can be used as a mitigating factor and may even result in a lower penalty.
Penalties If You Are Convicted or Plead Guilty to Theft Charges
Potential sentences will depend on the value of the item or amount allegedly stolen, as follows:
- For theft of an item or amount with a value less than $5000, the accused may be guilty of an indictable offence with a maximum imprisonment of up to two years or an offence punishable on summary conviction.
- For the theft of an item or amount with a value over $5000, the accused may be guilty of an indictable offence with a maximum imprisonment of up to ten years.
It's vital to your case and your future that you get an experienced criminal lawyer at Kruse Law to counsel you when faced with a charge of theft. Simply fill out our contact form, and we will schedule your free, confidential consultation to discuss your options.