Theft is defined as taking something that does not belong to you without the owner’s permission. Theft charges are typically classified as Theft Under $5000 or Theft over $5000. These charges usually involve retail theft (such as shoplifting), breach of trust involving theft from employers, and larger thefts like vehicle or property theft.
See the Criminal Penalty Chart » for penalties or sentences associated with being found guilty of theft; it can have serious implications and may affect your current and/or future employment, immigration status, family, and freedom. Having a criminal record can impact you for years to come.
Shoplifting And Theft Under $5000
Shoplifting or theft from a retail store (not a private citizen) is the most common form of theft. A shoplifting charge is a common and often considered a minor criminal offence. Accordingly we are often able to successfully negotiate with the Crown to have a minor shoplifting or theft charge “diverted” and avoid conviction and even trial. Not every shoplifting results in a withdrawal of the charge – it depends upon the circumstances of the offence and any history you have before the court.
Theft Over $5000
Theft over $5000 is much more serious than minor property related crimes such as shoplifting. Generally, these types of charges include workplace theft, embezzlement, and large-scale thefts of vehicles or construction equipment. While penalties for Theft under $5000 can be minor, those convicted of theft over $5000 may face up to 10 years in prison. Even first-time offenders may face severe penalties.
Theft from Employers and Breach of Trust
If you are alleged to have stolen from your employer, it is considered a “breach of trust” and is considered a very serious crime. The consequences of conviction can be very serious including incarceration.
CONVICTION OF A CRIME CAN TURN YOUR LIFE UPSIDE DOWN, AND THE PROCESS CAN BE FRIGHTENING.
Our criminal defence lawyer has considerable experience in successfully representing clients on all types of theft and breach of trust charges. Conviction of a crime can turn your life upside down, and the process can be frightening.Our lawyers understands that good people sometimes make bad decisions, and she is committed to helping you get out of a hole and back to your life. In the right circumstances a prosecutor may be convinced to withdraw the charges, or may be agreeable to address your charge without a criminal record. Sometimes at a bad time in your life you can simply make a regrettable decision.
WHAT IS CRIMINAL THEFT?
Criminal theft is a general term used to describe crimes that involve the taking of personal property without the owner’s consent. Criminal theft includes:
- Larceny: The taking and carrying away of personal property of another with the intent to permanently deprive.
- Petty theft: The taking of property from another that is valued under a certain amount. In certain jurisdictions, the petty theft crimes are property crimes worth less than $1,000.
- Grand theft: The taking of property from another worth more than a certain amount.
- Theft by conversion: The unlawful retention of property that was originally obtained lawfully.
- Theft of lost or mislaid property: The unlawful retention of property that was lost or mislaid.
Criminal theft crimes are prosecuted by the state. If found guilty of theft, a person may receive prison time, fines, or community service as punishment.