Theft in the Criminal Code of Canada is the intentional taking or converting to his 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.
A theft occurs as soon as the object that was stolen is moved, is caused to move or be moved, or begins to cause it 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 behavior 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. In some instances, though, if the case against you is not too strong, returning stolen goods can be used as a mitigating factor, and may even result in a lower penalty.
If you are faced with a charge of theft, don't limit your options by simply pleading guilty. There may be many valid defences, according to your particular case and your circumstances. At Kruse Law, we have handled hundreds of theft cases so our team of skilled criminal lawyers know which defences can work in your favour.
Depending on whether the item or amount allegedly stolen had a value of over or under $5000, there will be different sentences for each situation. For theft of an item or amount with a value less than $5000, the accused may be guilty of an indictable offense with a maximum imprisonment of up to two years, or of an offense punishable on summary conviction. For the theft of an item or amount with a value more than $5000, he accused may be guilty of an indictable offense with a maximum imprisonment of up to ten years. That is why it is important to get an experienced lawyer to counsel you when faced with a charge of theft.