Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Common Bail Conditions for Theft?
Bail conditions associated with theft typically has some of the least onerous conditions, as theft is a non-violent crime against property. Unlike crimes such as assault, child pornography, or child luring, theft is not a huge public safety issue. The accused may expect to receive an undertaking or a promise to appear from the station before being released. It is likely that the police will not hold the accused for a bail hearing, unless there are aggravating factors such as large sums of money or any prior record of breaching court or probation orders. In addition, the court may put a no contact order in place, prohibiting the accused from the person, location, or company that they stole from.
During a bail hearing, a justice will decide if the accused may be released or held in custody during the case. Bail, otherwise known as judicial interim release, allows the individual to be released into the community and enjoy rights and privileges with the presumption that they are innocent. However, the person is still charged with a crime, and the Court may impose bail conditions for the public.
Can I Get a Withdrawal in Brampton?
When a first-time offender is prepared to accept responsibility and the Crown and court is not interested in entering a jail sentence due to mitigating factors or lack of public interest, there may be diversionary programming offered. Section 717(1) of the Criminal Code details alternative measures that the Court may use to promote public safety without the use of incarceration. The program must be authorized by the proper authorities such as an Attorney General or an Attorney General’s delegate, the judge must be satisfied that these measures would be appropriate, the accused must be freely willing to participate, and the accused must be informed of their section 10 rights before any consent is given to participate in the program.
Can I Avoid a Criminal Record?
Sentencing is the last stage of the criminal court process and the conclusion of the case. A convicted person may get a criminal record, which may affect their social standing and employment opportunities. A criminal record appears on any police background checks, and those with criminal records are usually denied access to vulnerable people or populations. People with a criminal record may also find difficulties in travelling, especially to the United States.
Theft is one of the easier charges to avoid a criminal record, as it is neither a violent offence nor a sexual offence. However, this does not mean that theft is completely immune from criminal records. Depending on the value of the theft, it may be an aggravating factor. The Court may either enter a conditional discharge with ancillary orders or a conditional or absolute discharge. Ultimately, the aggravating and mitigating factors of each individual case and offender decides the length and conditions of the sentence.
What if I Took Something from the Store by Accident?
The law accounts for common accidents that citizens may make. It is in the interest of the authorities not to charge people for minor crimes. Shoplifting and other theft charges under $5,000 have a higher chance of receiving a conditional and absolute discharge. The defence of honest but mistaken belief can be submitted during trial.
In order for a conviction to be entered, the accused must have intended to commit the crime. The Court cannot convict someone of a crime they did not intend to commit, as there is no mens rea or “guilty mind.” The guilty mind in combination with the act is the crime. The person taking something accidentally from the store had no intention of committing the crime—it was an honest but mistaken belief.
For example, person A walks into Walmart with their young child who is in a baby stroller. Person A moves around the store picking up items. She picks up a dress for her young daughter and hangs it off the handle of the stroller. When she is finished shopping, she goes to the front and pays for the items in her shopping basket, then begins to leave the store. She forgets the dress is hanging on her stroller and when she walks through the doors the alarm is set off. Person A made an honest mistake and had no intention of stealing the item.
How Does the Crown Prove Theft?
In order to prove their case, the Crown must prove first prove the identity of the culprit, date and time of the incident, as well as the jurisdiction. In addition, the Crown must prove that the person moved the object with the intent of either (1) depriving someone of it either temporarily or absolutely, (2) pledging or depositing the property as security, (3) irresponsibly handling it or (4) irresponsibly handling it to the point that it cannot be restored to its original form.
The Crown must prove that the property did not belong to the accused, the value of the property must be enumerated, and the continuity of the property must be taken note of. The Court cannot convict someone of a crime they did not intent to commit. The mens rea, or “the guilty mind” is necessary in the judicial system for a conviction. The Crown must prove that the person did move the object and did have intent to move the object knowing they had no colour of right in the item.