Our Peterborough office deals with a wide variety of criminal charges, and our team of experienced lawyers and paralegals have a breadth of useful knowledge to assist in creating strategic and individualized defences. This includes theft charges, both theft under and over $5,000.
Theft occurs where anyone fraudulently, and without colour of right, either takes or converts anything with the intent to deprive the owner or the person who has a special interest in it. To take involves the physical movement of an item of personal property. To convert involves transforming the item into another form, such as taking a computer and selling it thus converting it into money.
How Can I Defend Myself in Peterborough?
Possible defences to a theft charge in Peterborough and surrounding areas include necessity, mistake of fact, or accident. What does this mean in a real life scenario? Below are but a few of many potential defences.
Necessity would be in the event where in order to save someone’s life, the accused person had to steal a car in order to drive that person to the hospital.
Mistake of fact would be if the accused was reasonably mistaken that what he or she was given or took was theirs.
Accident would be if your three-year-old child puts an article of clothing in your coat without you knowing, and you leave the store without paying for it.
At Aitken Robertson, we hear the specific details of your case and select the most appropriate defence for your specific circumstances.
What Is Theft Under $5,000?
Where the theft does not exceed the value of $5,000, the upper punishment for someone found guilty is two years in jail. You could get a criminal record, but could avoid one if sentenced to a discharge.
What Is Theft Over $5,000?
Where the theft exceeds the value of $5,000, the Crown has no choice and must proceed by indictment. The maximum term of imprisonment would be 10 years. These punishments however are for general theft. There are different types of theft that carry their own penalties, such as shoplifting.
People who shoplift tend to focus on one of several different types of property that they steal from retail stores. The most common items stolen include: alcohol, clothing and apparel, jewelry, food, and cosmetic and beauty products.
The penalty for a shoplifting or small theft offence, for a first-time offender, is often a direct accountability program. 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.
At Aitken Robertson, our team of criminal lawyers represent clients charged within Peterborough and its surrounding regions and provide an initial 30-minute consultation completely free of charge. Our schedules are flexible on weekends and evenings to better accommodate your availability and travel is never billed.