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The Penalty for Shoplifting in Ontario

The penalty for a shoplifting or small theft offence, for a first-time offender, is often a direct accountability program. This is a very important program that has been set up by the Ministry of the Attorney General. This allows an individual to complete community service work, programming (such as counselling), or other work such as meeting with the person from whom they stole to start learning, rehabilitating, and understanding what the thefts actually do to the community in order to not have the individual end up with a criminal record.

If the direct accountability is not applicable in a case, either because this is a subsequent offence or because it was a more serious theft, the common penalties for minor theft range from probation, conditional discharges, fines, and in certain cases sometimes even jail.

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