Property Offences

Theft [C.C. s 322]

A person commits theft when he or she fraudulently and without colour of right, takes or converts anything with the intent

(a) to deprive, temporarily or absolutely, the owner of the property;

(b) to pledge the property or deposit it as security; or

(c) to deal with the property in a manner that it cannot be restored to its previous condition.

The offence of Theft includes what is commonly known as "shoplifting", and charges can be laid no matter how nominal the value of the goods stolen. Stealing from your employer is treated especially seriously as it is considered a breach of trust, and Crown Attorneys often seek more severe penalties upon conviction. Toronto criminal lawyer Daniel Freudman has proven success in representing persons charged with Theft, and is often able to reach agreements with Crown Attorneys that result in the charges being withdrawn or discharged.

Potential penalty upon conviction:

(a) Theft Over $5,000 i.e. the value of the stolen property exceeds $5,000-
    (i) Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 10 years jail

(b) Theft Under $5,000 i.e. the value of the stolen property does not exceed $5,000-
    (i) if Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 2 years jail
    (ii) if Crown proceeds summarily: maximum of 6 months jail

Possession of Property Obtained by Crime [C.C. s 354]

It is an offence to have in one’s possession any property or thing (or the proceeds of any property or thing) knowing that it was obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from

(a) the commission in Canada of an offence punishable by indictment; or

(b) an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence punishable by indictment.

Potential penalty upon conviction:

(a) Where the value of the property obtained by crime exceeds $5,000-
    (i) Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 10 years jail

b) Where the value of the property obtained by crime does not exceed $5,000-
    (i) if Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 2 years jail
    (ii) if Crown proceeds summarily: maximum of 6 months jail

Mischief [C.C. s 430]

A person commits mischief when he or she wilfully

(a) destroys or damages property;

(b) renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective; or

(c) obstructs or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.

Potential penalty upon conviction:

(a) Mischief Over $5,000 i.e. the mischief is in relation to property with a value exceeding $5,000-
    (i) if Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 10 years jail
    (ii) if Crown proceeds summarily: maximum of 6 months jail

(b) Mischief Under $5,000 i.e. the mischief is in relation to property with a value not exceeding $5,000-
    (i) if Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 2 years jail
    (ii) if Crown proceeds summarily: maximum of 6 months jail

Note: The penalty for Mischief can be as high as 25 years jail (i.e. life imprisonment) if the mischief causes actual danger to life.

Break and Enter [C.C. s 348]

It is an offence to

(a) break and enter a place and commit, or intend to commit, an indictable offence therein; or

(b) break out of a place after committing, or intending to commit, an indictable offence therein.

It is important to note that “breaking in” does not actually require you to pick a lock or break a window; rather, walking through an open door may suffice if you are uninvited. Furthermore, once having broken into the place, it is not necessary that you actually commit an offence as the mere intention to do so is enough.

Potential penalty upon conviction:

(a) Where the offence is committed in relation to a dwelling-house-
    (i) Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 25 years jail (i.e. life imprisonment)

(b) Where the offence is committed in relation to a place other than a dwelling-house-
    (i) Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 10 years jail
    (ii) Crown proceeds summarily: maximum of 6 months jail

Robbery [C.C. s 343]

A person commits robbery if he or she

(a)steals, and for the purpose of extorting whatever is stolen or to prevent or overcome resistance to the stealing, uses violence or threats of violence to a person or property;

(b)steals from any person and, at that time (or immediately before or immediately after), wounds, beats, strikes or uses any personal violence to that person;

(c)assaults any person with intent to steal from them; or

(d)steals from any person while armed with an offensive weapon or imitation thereof.

Potential penalty upon conviction:

(i) Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 25 years jail (i.e. life imprisonment)

Call Daniel For a Free Initial Consultation at 647-771-2416

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