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If you have been charged with any of the offences listed above (or a similar offence), contact us immediately for a free consultation.
Theft charges fall into two categories: (a) Theft Under $5000 and (b) Theft Over $5000, depending on the value of the stolen property.
There are a number of elements that make up the offence of Theft. The Criminal Code states that everyone 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.
A person does not need to actually take something in order to commit the offence of Theft. It is enough that he or she converts it to his or her use with intent to deprive the owner of it of the thing.
A conviction for theft can have a significant impact upon your current employment as well as future employment prospects, even where a non-custodial sentence is imposed.
There are a number of defences to consider when assessing a charge of Theft. One possible defence is that the accused had an honest belief that they had a right to possess the property, despite the fact that there was no true basis for the belief in fact or law.
In many cases, repaying or returning the stolen money or property may help to reduce the penalty assigned by the court. We will be able to tell you whether or not a promise to return the stolen property will have a significant effect on your case.
It is important to work with a lawyer who is experienced in defending against property offences. We first seek to have your Theft charges withdrawn. If that is not possible, we work towards securing an acquittal. Even where the Crown has a particularly strong case, we will ensure that you will receive the lowest possible sentence if convicted.
Consequences of a Theft Conviction:
Under the Criminal Code, a conviction for Theft Under $5000 carries a maximum possible penalty of up to 2 years imprisonment. A conviction for Theft Over $5000 carries a maximum possible penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.
Robbery refers to taking property, or attempting to take property, by use of force, violence or threats of violence. Any time force, or the threat of the use of force, coincides with taking property from another person, or attempting to take property from another person, Robbery charges may be laid.
Because Robbery is a violent offence, the Crown often seeks the detention of an accused pending trial and, upon conviction, a custodial sentence.
There are a number of factors that could affect the severity of the penalties imposed upon a Robbery conviction, including the nature and use of any weapons, the degree of violence used, the injuries suffered by the victim, the vulnerability of the victim, the value of the stolen property and the offender’s prior criminal record.
Consequences of a Robbery Conviction:
Under the Criminal Code, a conviction for Robbery carries a maximum possible penalty of life imprisonment.
In addition, if a firearm or imitation firearm is used in the commission of a Robbery, there are mandatory minimum sentences of imprisonment if convicted. If a restricted or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence, or if a firearm is used in a robbery committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal organization, then there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment for a first offence.
Breaking and Entering
Breaking and Entering charges involve the entrance into a dwelling house or commercial place of business. Despite the name of the offence, there is no need to actually “break” or force entry. Breaking and Entering charges may be laid despite the fact that there has been no damage to the property entered. In fact, walking through an open door has been held to constitute “Breaking and Entering”.
The offence of Breaking and Entering often involves a person entering into a place with the intention of committing an indictable offence, such as to steal property. In those cases, the accused my be charged with committing the indictable offence of Theft while Breaking and Entering. If an accused does not have the intention to commit an indictable offence, but unlawfully enters a premise, he or she may be charged with committing additional offences under the Criminal Code.
Consequences of a Breaking and Entering Conviction:
Under the Criminal Code, a conviction for Break and Enter into a dwelling house (i.e., a home where people live) carries a maximum possible penalty of life imprisonment. A conviction for Break and Enter into commercial or non-residential buildings carries a maximum possible penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
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