In Canadian Criminal law, theft is committed when someone “fraudulently and without colour of right” takes, or intentionally, fraudulently, and without colour of right converts to his use or to the use of another person anything. Theft is relatively straightforward; you likely know it when you see it, and have a solid understanding of it in mind already. Essentially, theft is taking something you do not have the legal right to own, and intending to do so.
Theft is prosecuted differently depending on the value of the product in question. In particular, the law draws a line between theft under and theft over $5,000. If you are charged with Theft under $5,000, typically the Crown will proceed via “summary conviction”, involving a maximum fine of $5,000 and up to six months in prison. However, for first time offences, the penalty tends to involve relatively small fines or probation. Theft over $5,000 is particularly serious, and can result in punishment of up to $5,000. It is a “straight” indictable offence, where the Crown will always proceed through more serious indictment charges. If charges have been brought against you of Theft Over $5,000, you should retain a lawyer immediately.
Shoplifting is a type of theft, and falls under the broader umbrella of theft. Shoplifting is the theft of product from a retail store. Typically, this results in a charge of Theft Under $5,000. Often the charge of theft is accompanied by a charge of Possession of Stolen Property.
Frequently, people charged with Theft Under $5,000 are first offender without a prior criminal record. When clients without a record come to us for help, our first priority is to resolve their case without a criminal record. We dedicate our expertise to ensure that your matter is resolved as quickly and discretely as possible, without a record.
The Firm has a 99% success rate of single count first offenders, which are resolved without a Criminal Conviction. The Firm is well equipped to handle a range of theft offences for those accused in Guelph.
The criminal courthouse in Guelph can be located at 36 Wyndham St S, Guelph, ON N1H 7J5, major intersection Wyndham St S and Fountain St. The Guelph criminal courthouse has jurisdiction over all criminal matters occurring in the province of Ontario. It as well hears about cases concerning serious criminal offences occurring in Guelph. The courthouse can be contacted at 519-826-4431. The 36 Wyndham Street South court house is open from Monday to Friday through 8:30 am to 5 pm. Services here are offered in English, French, Quebec Sign Language, and Interpretive Services.
WHAT experience do you have with theft?
In 2016, the number of Theft Under $5,000 reported incidences rose to 1,082, compared to 994 in 2015. The number of Theft Under $5,000 from Motor Vehicles also rose in 2016 with 986 incidents, compared to 623 in 2015. Finally, the number of Shoplifting Under $5,000 incidences decreased in 2016. The number of reported incidents in Guelph was 346, compared to 371 in 2015.
We have defended Theft charges of just about every value and complexity you can imagine. We have defended charges from as little as ten cents worth of stolen merchandise, to as much as $60,000. You may be surprised how seriously the theft of seemingly negligible property can be taken when a storeowner decides to pursue charges aggressive. For example, we have helped clients alleged to have stolen as little as a condom from a box at Shopper’s Drug mart.
We have handled seemingly cut-and-dried cases where complainants have strong evidence of shoplifting, and fight tooth-and-nail for our clients to resolve their matter without a conviction or, at worst, receive the lowest possible sentence.
For example, one of our client was alleged to have stolen Menswear from The Bay, and was caught by undercover security. Fortunately, we helped them escape without a criminal record, so that they could continue their professional career on Bay Street.
Sometimes, theft charges are relatively straight forward. However, especially where there are multiple charges or defendants, it is particularly important having experienced counsel on your side. Complex theft cases we have handled include the defence of a participant in an alleged theft ring being run in Home Sense, which the Police believed to have appropriated over $60,000. We managed to avoid the imposition of a criminal record, demonstrating that even where criminal charges threaten to change your life forever, it is always worth exploring your prospects of success with a Canadian Criminal lawyer
We similarly represented multiple clients accused of having been involved in an employee theft ring at Target Canada, and none of our clients suffered a criminal record, and did the same with an employee of the Rogers centre was alleged to have stolen $3,000 worth of Blue Jays merchandise.
We have represented clients charged with theft from or fraud against banks, including a $56,000 fraud alleged to have been committed against RBC and a $50,000 fraud alleged against the Bank of Nova Scotia.
In all cases, we hope to resolve theft cases efficiently, confidentially, and without a criminal record. We know that your friends, family, or coworkers discovering a theft charge in your past can have serious consequences for your career or reputation, and that in these circumstances, discretion is crucial.
While we are based on Toronto, we are trying to build a network of clients throughout the province, and are happy to defend clients charged with theft in Guelph. We know that your best chance of maintaining confidentiality and avoiding a criminal record is with a criminal lawyer on your side, and we believe that our team of Guelph Criminal Lawyer are some of the best options around.
If you or someone you know has been charged with theft in Guelph, consider reaching out to us at 416-DEFENCE, or at [email protected]