Frequently Asked Questions
What Interrogation Techniques Commonly Employed by Police?
In situations of theft, the police will typically have some evidence from a third party. These can be witness reports, complaints of the rightful owner, or 911 dispatch calls. In cases of motor vehicle theft under section 333.1(1), the car may be a key piece of evidence. When the police place a suspect under arrest for theft, they may wish to recover the stolen property. The police have a variety of investigative techniques and may lie to the accused or interrogate them to get more information.
The police cannot lie to the suspect about their rights. When a suspect is placed under arrest, the police must disclose to them their rights. Section 7, 9, 10, and 11 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ensures that the accused will have fundamental rights that will prevent any miscarriage of justice during the proceedings. Section 7 of the Charter promises life, liberty, and security of the person. Section 9 promises the accused the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned. Section 10 ensures that everyone has the right to retain counsel. And section 11 ensures the right to be informed without delay of the charge. It is important for the accused to get a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can ensure their rights are not being infringed.
What are Some Ancillary Orders on Sentencing for Theft?
A forfeiture order forces the offender of a crime of theft to surrender the property related to the offence. Section 490.1 of the Criminal Code gives the Court power to order a forfeiture order. There are three different types of forfeiture orders: (1) forfeiture orders related to proceeds of crime, (2) forfeiture orders related to things seized, or (3) forfeiture orders related to offence related property.
In order for a forfeiture order to be entered, the Crown must satisfy the Court that the property is related to the commission of the offence. For example, if a person produces illegal methamphetamine in a home and has an extensive lab set-up, the Court may see the house as an offence related property. The offender may be ordered to forfeit the house upon a conviction.
Theft over $5,000 may also be subject to a DNA order. A DNA order is an order by the Court to provide a sample of a bodily fluid to be registered in the national databank. DNA orders are entered depending on the type of offence. Offences are categorized as primary designated offences, which make DNA orders mandatory; or secondary designated offences, which leave DNA orders up to the discretion of the Court. DNA orders for theft offences are rare.
What are the Sentencing Principles in London?
Sentencing principles serve as the foundation for the process of sentencing. Sentencing is a very individualized and unique process, tailored to fit the offender. Section 718 of the Criminal Code details the purpose and objectives of sentencing as maintaining a safe society by imposing fit sentences with one or more goals of: denunciation of unlawful conduct, deterrence of further offence, separation of offenders from society (if necessary), rehabilitation of the offenders, provide reparations for harm, and promote a sense of responsibility.
The principle of rehabilitation plays a key part in sentencing theft cases. As theft is a non-violent and non-sexual crime, the court will usually deem longer sentences to be too harsh. Unless there are major aggravating factors such as misuse of a position of trust or authority, abuse of vulnerable persons, large amounts of theft, or ancillary offences, theft by itself does not usually incur the court to separate the offender from society.
What if I am a First-Time Offender?
During sentencing, the Court will usually consider mitigating and aggravating factors. The lack of a prior criminal record is always a mitigating factor. It is not in the public interest to give criminal records for very minor offences. Minor cases of theft and theft-related offences such as shoplifting combined with a first-time offence increase the likelihood that the offender will get a diversion or a discharge. A diversion may include a Direct Accountability Program (DAP) that the offender would have to complete. The completion of this program may require reparative actions such as taking anti-theft courses, writing apology letters, or paying restitution. Once the DAP is completed, the Crown will withdraw the charge.
Will I Be Required to Pay Restitution in London?
A restitution order requires an offender to pay a sum of money to the victims of the case. Under section 737.1(1) of the Criminal Code, a sentencing judge is required to consider restitutions for the victim(s) when convicting or discharging the accused.
Section 16 of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights also says the victim has a right to make the court consider a restitution order against the offender. It is the obligation of the court to canvas the victim and ask for their input. Restitution orders are often decided on a case-by-case basis. Some complainants may not wish for the court to enter a restitution order.