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Theft

Theft cases can be complex and there are hundreds of variables, do not assume that you do not have a defence.


What You Need To Know:

The offence of Theft is defined in s. 322 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada and involves the taking of an item, animate or inanimate, without colour of right, or the conversion of an item to their use or the use of another person, with the intent to deprive the owner of the item. The Code explains that it is still a theft to deprive the owner of the item even if the intent was only to do so temporarily.

Can a theft involve violence or breaking and entering into a place?

While technically it can, theft offences with such aggravating features have been codified as other offences such as robbery and break and enter.

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What Happens If You Are Convicted Of A Theft Charge?

A theft can be as minor as shoplifting some inexpensive goods or as serious as stealing expensive merchandise.

It really depends on the seriousness of the theft and the circumstances of the offender. As a result sentences can range to diversion (a program generally offered to first-time shoplifting offenders) to a period of time in custody.

Theft Defence #1:

Factual Innocence

Means that the item was not taken.

Theft Defence #2:

Colour of Right

Means that the person taking the item had the right to do so.

Theft Defence #3:

Lack of Mens Rea

Means that although the item was taken there was no actual intention to do so (may occur in cases where a person forgets they are holding an item that does not belong to them).

What Comes Next?
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