What is Theft?
Theft is stealing property that belongs to another. In the Criminal Code, theft is categorized depending on the value of the property. Theft can range from a simple shoplifting to theft of a motor vehicle. Related charges include possession of property obtained by crime, robbery, theft of motor vehicle, and others.
What is the Penalty for Theft? Is there Jail Time?
The maximum sentence for theft is ten years, depending on the value of the stolen property.
What happens if you're charged with Theft?
Depending on the seriousness of the offence and the circumstances of the case, the police may release you from the station or may hold you for a bail hearing. If you are held for bail, they will advise you so that you may make arrangements to contact a lawyer and assist you in contacting your friends or family to act as sureties for your bail. You have a right to be brought before a Justice or Judge within a reasonable time, but in any event within 24 hours of your arrest.
At your bail hearing, your lawyer and the Crown will argue about whether you should be released from custody and, if so, what reasonable terms of bail should be imposed. Any person charged with a crime has a right to a reasonable bail.
Contact our office if a friend or family member has been charged with an offence, or if they are being held for bail.
Why shouldn't I just plead guilty to Theft?
Only a careful review of your matter can give you the advice you need to make crucial decisions on your case and your life. A careful review may reveal gaps or problems with the Crown’s case. Contact experienced trial counsel before deciding to plead guilty.
First Time Theft Charges
The criminal justice system often recognizes that people make mistakes. Some mistakes are bigger than others. People charged with offences, including Theft, for the first time are usually treated somewhat differently from people with long criminal records. Experienced counsel can assist in obtaining great results for first time charges. This may include diversion before trial or favourable plea agreements. Contact our office to discuss your case and what to expect.
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.
Marginal note:Time when theft completed
(2) A person commits theft when, with intent to steal anything, he moves it or causes it to move or to be moved, or begins to cause it to become movable.
(3) A taking or conversion of anything may be fraudulent notwithstanding that it is effected without secrecy or attempt at concealment.
Marginal note:Purpose of taking
(4) For the purposes of this Act, the question whether anything that is converted is taken for the purpose of conversion, or whether it is, at the time it is converted, in the lawful possession of the person who converts it is not material.
Marginal note:Wild living creature
(5) For the purposes of this section, a person who has a wild living creature in captivity shall be deemed to have a special property or interest in it while it is in captivity and after it has escaped from captivity.