toronto theft lawyer criminal code 322 334

What is Theft Under $5000?

Theft is one of the most commonly laid charges in Ontario and is categorized as an “Offence Against Rights of Property”.  Theft charges are laid in cases of employee theft, shoplifting and even domestic incidents.  Theft from an employer is considered far more serious as the “breach of trust” component is an aggravating factor on sentencing.  The Criminal Code states that “anything” can be the subject of a theft.  The offence of Theft Under $5000 is set out in section 322 of the Criminal Code of Canada:

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;

A finding of guilt for a theft charge can have a devastating effect on your life.  A finding of guilt or a conviction may negatively affect your employment, ability to travel, immigration status, your family and freedom.  Our law firm has represented countless individuals who have been charged with Theft Under $5000.  Our office has an extremely successful track record of getting these charges withdrawn, whether it be your first, second or third offence.  Call our office now for a free consultation.

What is the Punishment for Theft?

Section 334 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides us with a range of sentences for theft cases depending on the value of the stolen item(s).  Theft Under $5000 is a hybrid offence, meaning the prosecutor can elect to proceed summarily or by indictment.  If the crown proceeds summarily on a Theft Under $5000 charge the maximum penalty is a $5,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail.  If the crown proceeds by indictment on a Theft Under $5000 charge the maximum penalty is two years imprisonment.  Theft Over $5000 is a straight indictable offence with a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.  If you have been charged with Theft Over $5000 the police cannot release you and must bring you before a Justice of the Peace within 24 hours for a Bail Hearing.

A finding of guilt for a theft charge can have a devastating effect on your freedom, your livelihood and your future.  Our goal in any case is to secure the best possible result, whether that be no jail, no criminal record, a withdrawal or an acquittal.

Frequently Asked Questions:
How Will a Criminal Record Affect Me?
What Are the Stages of  a Criminal Case?
What Happens if I get Arrested?
What is a Bail Hearing?
What Happens on my First Appearance?
What is Disclosure in a Criminal Case?
What is a Crown Pre-Trial?
What is a Judicial Pre-Trial?
How Does a Criminal Trial Work?  


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