What Are Theft Offences?
Theft charges are divided into two categories under the Criminal Code, theft under $5000, and theft over $5000.
A person commits theft when he or she takes something fraudulently and without a colour of right.
The Criminal Code, defines “taking” as the physical act of moving anything with intent to steal. As soon as the object is physically moved, provided the necessary intent to steal is established, the offence of theft is complete.
The case of R. v. Wilkins, explains “fraudulently” is when the taking is done intentionally under no mistake and with knowledge that the thing taken is the property of another person.
The case of R. v. Howson, explains “colour of right” usually refers to a situation where there is an assertion or a belief of a proprietary or possessory right to the thing which is the subject matter of the alleged theft.
This means that the accused had an honest belief in a state of facts, which if it actually existed, would at law justify or excuse the act done.
The Criminal Code of Canada Defines Theft as Follows:
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.
Different Types of Theft Offences under the Criminal Code of Canada
- 334(a) – Theft over $5000
- 334(b) – Theft under $5000
- 333.1 – Car theft
- 335 – Take auto without consent
- 335 – Occupy auto taken without consent
Consequences for Theft
Depending on the type of Theft Charge, the maximum penalties range from 2 months less a day to 10 years in jail. However, there are other ways of resolving these charges, that result in minimum to no jail time.
Some theft charges may be resolved by way of a fine. The maximum fine amount after a summary conviction is $5,000.00.
Other theft charges may be resolved by way of a Conditional Sentence Order, or more commonly known as House Arrest.
In some cases, certain types of theft charges can be resolved by way of a Discharge from the Court, which means that you do not go to jail and you can avoid a Criminal Record.
Depending on your charge, there are a number of ways to resolve your matters without going to jail.
Orders When Convicted of a Theft Offence
The court may order you to pay restitution for damage to property. It should be noted that the offender’s inability to pay does not bar the imposition of a restitution order.
The Court may order a DNA order against you, where you have to submit your DNA at a police station to be registered in the national DNA databank.
How Can Shory Law Help?
Our criminal defence lawyers have years of experience studying and practising in this area of law. We will communicate with the Police, the Crown, and the Court on your behalf, to ensure the best resolve of your case, in an effective and efficient manner.
If you are facing a theft offence charge, come see one of the lawyers at Shory Law. Let our knowledge and experience guide you and let us help you navigate through the Criminal Justice System.
There are numerous ways to resolve your charges, including having the charges:
- Withdrawn or Stayed;
- Dealt with by way of a fine;
- Dealt with through Probation;
- Dealt with through a Conditional Sentence Order (House Arrest); and
- Dealt with a short jail sentence.
Every client is our priority, and we will work closely with you to resolve your charges in the best way possible. In dealing with your charges our top priorities are:
- To avoid a jail term;
- To avoid a Criminal Record; and
- To avoid negative immigration consequences.
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How much time can you get for theft of property?
Depending on the type of Theft Charge, the maximum penalties range from 2 months less a day to 10 years in jail.
What is possession of property obtained by crime?
Section 354 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada states: 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 of the proceeds was obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from the commission of an offence in Canada.
What happens if you unknowingly buy stolen property?
Whether possession of stolen property will result in charges or a conviction against you depends upon the specific circumstances of your case. In situations like these, you will have various defences available to you that your lawyer can present to the Crown in your favour.