Our firm defends criminal charges throughout Ontario. While we are based in Toronto, we happily represent clients all over the province, including in London. Whenever we take a person accused of theft on as a client, our objective is to resolve the matter quickly, efficiently, and without a criminal record.
The criminal courthouse located in London is at 80 Dundas St., London Ontario, N6A 6A3. Both the Criminal Ontario Court of Justice and the Criminal Ontario Court of Justice can be reached by telephone at 519-660-3013 and 519-660-3013, respectively. Office hours are as well available, and occur Monday to Friday from 8:30 am through 5:00 pm. Other courthouses near London include Stratford, Exeter, Woodstock and St. Thomas. Information on an upcoming court appearance can be accessed here.
Thefts vary from year to year with no general trends. The annual average from 2010 to 2016 is 8,520 incidents. London Police state that an increase in rates oftheft of $5,000 or under has contributed to an overall increase in the crime rate of London.
Our Firm has a 99% success rate for single count first offenders. These are resolved without a Criminal Conviction. The Firm is well equipped to handle a range of theft offences for those accused in London.
To locate more information on our successful theft cases, click here.
What Are the Effects of a Conviction for Theft?
Punishment for theft depends on the value of the property taken, as well as the circumstances of the offence.
The primary distinguishing factor is the value of the property stolen. Theft Under $5,000 is almost always pursued by “summary conviction”, the less serious of two options, which carries a maximum fine of $5,000 or six months in jail. Theft of Over $5000 of property is always pursued by indictment, and can result in a up to ten years in prison. Within the two charges, the more property is involved, the more stringent penalties will be pursued.
However, the presence of other factors can worsen or alleviate the punishments sought or imposed. For example, theft from an employer or other relationship of trust tends to be an “aggravating” circumstance, meaning that Police and the Crown take such cases more seriously. Fraud, because it is considered to be a more dishonest offence, also tends to attract more serious punishments.
Employers are frequently “complainants” in theft cases, the people on the other side of the case, alleging the offence. These cases can be treated more seriously, but often give rise to questions about the identity of the offender. We have an extensive record of representing those accused of having stolen from their employers, including:
- Employees of Target alleged to have been involved in an employee “theft ring”, in which all of the accused avoided criminal records
- A CIBC Bank employee alleged to have taken $18,500 in cash, in which the employee walked away without a criminal record
- An employee of the Rogers centre, alleged to have participated in a ring responsible for the theft of over $3,000 of merchandise
- A Canada Post Employee charged with defrauding the Bank of Nova Scotia of over $50,000
Even if you are not charged with having taken property belonging to your employer, charges or a conviction for theft can mean that you risk losing your job, and they make it more difficult to find employment in the future. We value our clients’ confidentiality, and do what we can to proceed with charges as discretely as possible, without drawing unwanted attention to our clients.
Consequences of any criminal conviction, even one as seemingly minor as theft under $5,000 are serious and wide-ranging. For example, a criminal record for theft can prevent you from visiting the United States or other foreign countries, or it may make it hard for you to remain in Canada if you are have immigrated here or are on a visa.
Often, Theft Under $5,000 charges are resolved without a criminal record, particularly where the accused lacks a criminal record, and even more so where the defendant hires an experienced criminal lawyer.
Typically, the Crown will seek a small fine and/or probation for charges of Theft Under $5,000. However, there are often options available that will not result in a criminal record at all. For example, the “diversion” program requires the Accused to make a small charitable donation or perform community service in exchange for withdrawing charges. Negotiations with the Crown can often result in a stay.
We are extremely proud of our track record so far in resolving charges of theft under $5,000 without a criminal record. We have avoided a criminal record for 99% percent of our clients who have come to us facing charges of theft under $5,000 without a prior criminal record. While this is not necessarily a guide to any individual case, and previous results are not necessarily predictive of future performance, we believe that this indicates the seriousness with which we take such charges. We hope to continue this excellent success rate into the future.
We know how scary any criminal charges can be, and we hope to bring our experience to bear on your behalf. However, with the assistance of qualified counsel, you may be able to limit the impact of theft charges in London on your future prospects.
If you have been charged with theft in London, consider contacting our office 416-DEFENCE, or at [email protected], for a free consultation with one of our experienced Criminal Lawyers practicing in your area.