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FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND THEFT CHARGES IN BRAMPTON.  416-DEFENCE.

Theft is one of the most common offences before the court in Brampton. Theft charges range from low level shoplifting offences to more serious theft charges such as theft of a motor vehicle. Theft under $5,000 is a hybrid offence, giving the Crown considerable discretion regarding the maximum penalty the Court may impose on the accused if they are convicted. In less serious fraud cases where the value of the property stolen did not exceed $5,000, the Crown will proceed summarily, and the accused will face a maximum of two years less a day imprisonment. In more serious cases involving theft under $5,000, the Crown will proceed by indictment and the accused will face a maximum of two years imprisonment.

Theft over $5,000 is also a hybrid offence. In less serious theft cases where the value of the property stolen was over $5,000, the accused will be liable to a maximum of two years less a day imprisonment. In cases involving thefts where the property stolen is a testamentary instrument or the value exceed $5,000, the Crown will proceed by indictment and the maximum penalty the accused will face is ten years imprisonment.

Whether the Crown proceeds summarily or by indictment will depend on the facts of the allegations, the value of the items stolen, whether or not the items stolen were a testamentary instrument like a cheque, and any other relevant factors present in the case.

In Brampton, the Criminal Courthouse is A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse. This courthouse can be found at 7755 Hurontario Street, Brampton ON, L6W 4T1. To reach the courthouse, it can be contacted at (905) 456-4700. Alternatively, court office hours occur from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Information regarding upcoming court appearances can be located here. Services and contact information can be found here. Cases for all ages are heard at A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse: adults, young persons aged 16-17, and young persons aged 12-15. For more information on successful theft cases from the Firm, click here.

Brampton and Mississauga had 827 reported robberies in 2016. This was an increase from 678 reported robberies in the same area in 2015. In 2016, Brampton and Mississauga had 2,007 reported vehicle thefts, increasing from 1,861 in 2015. Finally, there were 3,757 thefts from vehicles in 2016, an increase from 3,554 in 2015.

aving a complete understanding of the Elements of the Criminal Offence, Your Rights and the Consequences associated with a Criminal Record is necessary before any legal decisions are made.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Theft?
What is the Difference between Theft and Fraud?
Is the Value of the Merchandise Relevant?
How does the Crown Prove Theft in Brampton?
Is there a Difference between Theft and Shoplifting?
What is Possession of Property Obtained by Crime?

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening

What is Theft?

Section 322(1) of the Criminal Code outlines the offence of theft. It states that an individual is guilty of the offence of theft when they fraudulently and without colour of right takes, or fraudulently and without colour of right converts to his use or to the use of another person, anything, whether animate or inanimate, with intent

  • To deprive, temporarily or absolutely the owner of it, or a person who has a special property interest in it, of the thing or of his property or interest in it;
  • To pledge it or deposit it as security
  • To part with it under a condition with respect to its return that the person who parts with it may be unable to perform; or
  • To deal with it in such a manner that it cannot be restored to the condition in which it was at the time it was taken or converted.

The description provided in the Criminal Code is quite broad and covers a wide variety of scenarios. Theft is a specific intent offence, meaning the Crown must prove that the accused intended to steal the item or deprive the rightful owner of the item.

What is the Difference between Theft and Fraud?

While the elements of fraud and theft are quite similar, there is one major distinction between the two offences. In fraud cases, the Crown must prove an additional element, which is an intent to hide or conceal the unlawful act. An individual who is guilty of fraud must have the intention to conceal their acts which is not required to be guilty of the offence of theft. Fraud is generally considered to be a more serious criminal offence than theft.

Does the Value of the Product make a Difference?

The value of the theft will determine how the case will be prosecuted and the maximum penalties available if the accused is convicted. Theft offences are grouped into two categories based on their value; theft over $5,000 and theft under $5,000. Both offences are hybrid offences, meaning the Crown has discretion regarding the way the case will proceed. Generally, those charged with theft under $5,000 will receive lesser sentences and will generally be prosecuted less aggressively than those charged with theft over $5,000.

How does the Crown Prove Theft in Brampton?

In Canada, the burden of proof lies with the Crown. This means that the Crown must prove to the Court, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused committed the offence as charged. In cases involving theft, the Crown must typically prove the identity, date, time and location of the theft. The Crown must prove the value of the theft, and that the accused took, moved or converted the property. The Crown must also prove that the accused took, moved or converted the property without colour of right. Colour of right means the accused had permission, or genuinely believed they had permission to take, move or convert the item. Finally, the Crown must prove that the accused intended to deprive the rightful owner of the property when they took, moved or converted the item.

In cases involving shoplifting, the Crown must prove that the accused did not pay for items they removed from the store, did not make any attempts to pay for the items prior to leaving the store and exited the store with the items, with the intention to deprive the store of the items.

Is there a Difference between Theft and Shoplifting?

In Canada, an individual who shoplifts will generally be charged with a theft offence. Whether or not the individual will be charged with theft over or under $5,000 will depend on the value of the items taken. Essentially, shop lifting is a specific type of theft. In Brampton, shoplifting is one of the most common offences before the Court. Generally, those caught shoplifting are charged with theft under $5,000. Often times, those charged with theft for shoplifting are also charged with possession of property obtained by crime if they are arrested with the items still in their possession.

What is Possession of Property Obtained by Crime?

Individuals who are caught with stolen items in their possession will often be charged with possession of property obtained by crime. This charge is often laid in conjunction with other theft related charges such as theft and fraud. Commonly, those caught shoplifting, or stealing a motor vehicle or vessel will also be charged with this offence.

Section 354(1) of the Criminal Code, states that an individual is guilty of the offence of possession of property obtained by crime when they have in their possession any property or thing, or any proceeds of any property or thing knowing that all or part of the property or thing or of the proceeds was obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from the commission of an offence that is punishable by indictment in Canada, or an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada would have constituted an offence punishable by indictment. Individuals may be charged with this offence even where they have sold the stolen items and have only possession of the money they obtained from the sale.

If you have been charged with theft under $5,000, theft over $5,000 or possession of proceeds of crime our Firm can help guide you through the criminal justice system and obtain a favourable outcome in your case.

Quick Facts

What are Shoplifting Charges?

Generally, those who are caught shoplifting are charged with either theft under $5,000, theft over $5,000 or possession of property obtained by crime. These charges will be laid in situations where an individual has entered a store, taken an item and exited the store without attempting to pay for the item.

What is Theft Under $5,000?

Theft under $5,000 is the most common theft charge laid in Brampton and throughout Ontario. It is common for those caught shoplifting to be charged with theft under $5,000. In some cases, an individual caught shoplifting may be given a warning and released. In other cases, an individual caught stealing even a very low value item may be criminally charged.

What if Theft Over $5,000?

An individual will be charged with theft over $5,000 where they steal items with a value exceeding $5,000. Those caught stealing a motor vehicle or shoplifting high value items are commonly charged with theft over $5,000.

How to Drop Shoplifting Charges?

In many cases, individuals accused of shoplifting had no intention of stealing, and simply forgot to pay for the item. In these situations, it is sometimes possible to negotiate an early withdrawal of the charge.

Can you go to Jail for Theft?

Generally, the Court is unlikely to impose a custodial sentence on a first-time offender convicted of theft. The value of the theft will play a large roll in whether or not an accused will be sentenced to prison upon conviction. The higher the value of the theft, the more likely an accused person is to be sentenced to a period of incarceration.

Can I Keep my Charges Secret?

In Canada, our court system is public. This means that when an individual is arrested, charged and convicted of a criminal offence it becomes public record. That being said, it is sometimes possible to move a case quickly through the system with few to no court appearances and resolve the matter quickly with as little exposure to the public as possible.

Can I Pass a Vulnerable Sector Check?

A vulnerable sector check is one of the most comprehensive background checks the police offer. Even charges that have been withdrawn may appear on a vulnerable sector check. As a result, it is important to contact experienced legal counsel prior to resolving any criminal charges.

416-DEFENCE | 416-333-3623