Barrie Lawyer defends Theft and Shoplifting Charges

If you are charged with theft and shoplifting, our first objective will be to have the charges dropped and thus prevent you from receiving a permanent criminal record. The charge of theft and shoplifting fall into one of two categories, depending on the value of the goods allegedly stolen. The key is if the dollar amount was over or under $5000.

Penalties for Theft and Shoplifting

Theft over $5000 is an indictable offence that carries with it the potential of up to 10 years in prison, if you are found guilty. Theft under $5000 is a hybrid offence (crown chooses whether they will proceed by indictment or summary conviction). The indictable offence carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail. Theft under $5000, which is typically associated with shoplifting, is a less serious charge which often results in less serious penalties and possible diversion from the criminal justice system.

The most typical example of theft and shoplifting where fraud is included in the charges would be when a person shoplifts by changing the price on the merchandise to a lower amount. Another way to commit fraud is to manipulate, alter or reproduce a receipt, and then fill a shopping bag with the merchandise. Merchandise tracking tags and computerized scanners are commonly employed to catch fraudulent purchases, making it difficult if not impossible to get away with theft and shoplifting fraud.

Other Factors

While it is certainly possible to have the charges of theft and shoplifting reduced or dropped altogether, there can be circumstances which may make it more difficult to receive an optimal outcome. In addition to the nature of the crime, the Crown will take into consideration a number of factors: whether or not you have an existing criminal record and the nature of previous offences; any official warnings or dropped charges; whether or not you have any charges against you pending; and the value of the goods stolen. If any of these factors are present, it is even more critical that you have the representation of experienced and knowledgeable theft and shoplifting lawyers on your side. Even if it is the intention of the Crown to prosecute you, the lawyers at Ted Yoannou can argue for a dismissal or reduction of the charges.

Time is of the essence if you are charged with theft and shoplifting, so call us immediately. A Ted Yoannou lawyer will need to review the security camera evidence, if any, and to secure statements from eyewitnesses to your arrest to see if security used undue force or acted illegally in any manner when questioning and detaining you.

Being convicted of the crime of theft and receiving a criminal record can have life-altering consequences. You could be fired from your job or passed over for promotions. As well, if you are fired it can be difficult to get a new job as your criminal record will now be taken into consideration. Other consequences are that it could be more difficult for you to travel to and from the U.S., or receive a professional license should you pursue one. Having a criminal record could prevent you from obtaining a mortgage loan or securing the apartment of your choice, as credit and criminal background checks are usually performed.

If you have been accused of the crime of theft and shoplifting, you'll need to fight it aggressively to win your case. At The Law Firm of Ted Yoannou, P.C., we'll fight for you with every tool at our disposal to endeavour to have your charges dropped, reduced or as a last resort, defeated in court. We are proud of our talented team of lawyers, legal assistants and paralegals and of the excellent service and results we provide to our clients.


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