“Thefts” can, of course, be much more significant and as the type of theft increases, so does the penalty.
What follows is a brief summary of the law. While it is not, and should not be relied upon as legal advice, it may assist you with some of the questions you might have. As always, consult with a criminal lawyer should you need criminal advice.
Theft related offences are all enumerated in the Criminal Code of Canada: http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/stat/rsc-1985-c-c-46/latest/rsc-1985-c-c-46.html. The offence of “theft” is reproduced below.
322 (1) Every one commits theft who 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
(a) To deprive, temporarily or absolutely, the owner of it, or a person who has a special property or interest in it, of the thing or of his property or interest in it;
(b) To pledge it or deposit it as security;
(c) 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
(d) To deal with it in such a manner that it cannot be restored in the condition in which it was at the time it was taken or converted
322(2) A person commits theft when, with the intent to steal anything, he moves it or causes it to move or to be moved, or begins to cause it to become movable.
334 Except where otherwise provided by law, every one who commits theft
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, where the property stolen is a testamentary instrument of the value of what is stolen exceeds five thousand dollars; or
(b) is guilty
(i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
(ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction,
where the value of what is stolen does not exceed five thousand dollars.
Essentially, to prove someone guilty of Theft, the Crown must prove that: (a) the defendant took/converted property that belonged to another, (b) that the defendant had no legal right to the property, (c) that the defendant took the property fraudulently and without colour of right, and (d) when the defendant took/converted the property, it was done with the intent to deprive the complainant of the property.
Possession of Property Obtained By Crime
Often people charged with Theft are also charged with Possession of Property Obtained by Crime.
354 (1) Every one commits an offence who has in his possession any property or thing or any proceeds of any property or thing knowing that all or part of the property or thing or the proceeds was obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from
(a) the commission in Canada of an offence punishable by indictment; or
(b) an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence punishable by indictment
Penalty: The maximum penalty, if the subject matter is a testamtentary instrument or the value of the subject-matter is over $5000 is a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten years.
To prove therefore that someone guilty of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, the Crown must prove that: (a) the defendant was in possession of property, (b) the property was obtained by crime, and (c) the defendant knew that the property had been obtained by crime. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, a person has anything in possession when he has it in his personal possession or knowingly:
(a) has it in the actual possession or custody of another person, or
(b) has it in any place, whether or not that place belongs to or is occupied by him, for the use or benefit of himself or another person.
Further, where one of two or more persons, with the knowledge and consent of the rest, has anything in his custody or possession, it shall be deemed to be in the custody and possession of each and all of them.
There are numerous ways to defend against these charges and I have successfully defended people against them numerous times – please refer to my Recent Successes page. Again, the foregoing is only a summary. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. For a free consultation to discuss your case, please call me at (416) 658-5855.
Client charged with Theft Under after allegedly shoplifting. When stopped by security guards, client found to be in possession of the stolen items.
Client charged with Theft Over, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, and Fail to Comply with Recognizance. It was alleged that she participated in stealing a vehicle.
Client charged with Theft Over $5000, Possession of Property Obtained By Crime Over $5000, and Possession of Burglary Tools. Client was allegedly found in possession of recently stolen property.
Client charged with shoplifting. Security guards stopped the client exiting a store and discovered that she had stolen property on her.
Brian Ross is professional, straightforward, and honest. After we reviewed my case I didn't have high hopes for a positive outcome because there really wasn't much for him to work with. However, come court date, charges were withdrawn!! It had all happened so fast. I am so grateful for Brian Ross and his team. He didn't give up on my case and he definitely made lemonade out of like a 1/4 of a lemon. I would 100% use their services again - hopefully I won't have too.Kate Rice
Money well spent! With all the issues with my case Brian gave me hope. I would definitely recommend spending the cash to hire Brian as he is an amazing lawyer. Watching him work I knew I had great chances. I feel like I have a new lease of life now with this behind me. All charges dropped which I could not imagine. Thank you to you and your team on helping me with this. Best lawyer in the city!!!Jan Lane
I had a great experience hiring Brian for my case. From the beginning he was very direct and honest. He was confident in his prediction and his prediction was correct. Brian did an incredible job. He is highly knowledgeable in his field. He was thorough and very well experienced. I do highly recommend Brian!!Anita Wong
As a young professional, the weight of a conviction was staggering, and would have greatly affected my ability to work in my chosen profession. Hiring Mr. Ross was the best way to guarantee against such effects. Throughout, Brian was present, helpful, positive, and supportive; hard-working and diligent. It was truly a pleasure to work with him, and a relief to get the call that Mr. Ross had accomplished what he initially set out to do. Consider this a sincere “Thank You” and commendation.Kylie S
Candidates who are nominated for consideration are voted on by currently recognized lawyers working in the same practice area and located in the same geographic region. Our awards and recognitions are based purely on the feedback we receive from these top lawyers.
A criminal record can have lifelong ramifications. Don’t take a chance with an inexperienced Lawyer. We will fight to get your life back as we have done with countless others before you.