Practice Areas

Theft and Shoplifting

Theft Defence Lawyer in Ottawa

Theft is one of the most common crimes committed. It involves the act of removing or taking someone’s property fraudulently. The intent is to deprive the other person of the property that has been taken or removed, either permanently or temporarily. Theft ranges from pickpocketing to embezzlement of millions of dollars.

What is considered theft?

Not all incidents of taking someone else’s property without their permission will be considered theft. There must be evidence that the property was moved or taken fraudulently, as well as dishonest intent in the act of moving or taking the property.

The person charged with theft must have:

  • Taken or moved the property knowing that it did not belong to them
  • Been reckless about moving or taking the property
  • Been willfully blind to the fact that the property did not belong to them

For example, if you accidentally take someone else’s umbrella from a stand, the act is not automatically categorized as theft. However, if you understood that the umbrella belonged to someone else, but took it anyway, you could be found guilty of theft.

Colour of right

This is a defence in theft cases that can be used if you mistakenly believed that you had a legal right to the property. In such cases, you can get the charges of theft dropped, and you will not have a criminal record, pay any fines, or serve jail time.

Consequences of theft conviction

If you are found guilty of theft:

  • You will have a criminal record. This will have an adverse impact on your employment possibilities. Many employers carry out criminal record checks before taking on new employees. You may, therefore, have a difficult time securing a job.
  • Your criminal record may prevent you from traveling to certain countries such as the US.
  • You may also have to pay restitution to the victim, such as paying back stolen money or the value of the stolen property.
  • If you are a member of a professional association, you may have your membership revoked or suspended as a result of your conviction. This may interfere with your career aspirations.
  • Non-residents of Canada may be deported as a result of the conviction.