The law assesses the severity of a theft charge by the value of the property stolen. In Canada, theft of property with value exceeding $5,000 can result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years. Theft with a value under $5,000 can accompany imprisonment up to two years.
In general, the definition of theft is when a person uses fraud or otherwise takes something unlawfully from another person or entity. These types of crimes can range from crimes of opportunity such as shoplifting to serious breaches of trust. Different factors are considered by the courts in determining the punishment for a theft conviction. Some cases are taken more seriously.
For example, who someone stole from can be an aggravating factor. A theft that’s a crime of opportunity, for example grabbing an unattended wallet, may be seen differently from a theft involving stealing from an employer. Other types of theft involves breach of trust, such as a home-care nurse stealing from a patient, or an accountant or corporate officer misusing company money. If you have been accused of theft, whether it’s petty shoplifting or something more serious, call us for a free consultation of your case.