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What Shoplifting Charges Mean For You
Posted on October 21, 2020
Have you been caught shoplifting? If convicted of a shoplifting charge or theft under $5,000, you will face fines or possible jail time and will have a criminal record. Just because it seems like a minor criminal charge doesn’t mean it won’t have a significant impact on your life.
What Is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting or retail theft are both classified under larceny. In basic terms, shoplifting is when an object or item was removed from a store without being paid for. However, you could still face shoplifting charges if an item was concealed and the perceived intent was that you planned to leave without paying for it.
Intent and proving it can play a big factor in how your case is defended. If you left the store, it’s clear that the likely intent was to take the item. However, if you are detained before leaving the store, it will be up to the Crown to prove that you had no intention of paying for the item.
Sentencing for shoplifting charges will depend on several things. First, the court will take the financial amount stolen items into consideration. The circumstances behind the offence will be looked at as well as the circumstances of the offender.
For example, it may be considered a crime of poverty, which is when an accused person cannot afford to purchase food or clothing. If you have been charged with shoplifting and it was for food or clothing, it does not mean the charge will be dropped. However, it can act as a deciding factor when the judge considers sentencing.
The court will also take into account whether this is the accused person’s first offence. If the person is a first-time offender, charges are often less severe. With that said, shoplifting charges can temporarily or permanently impact a person’s life, depending on the ruling.
Shoplifting Charges Can Result In:
- A Criminal Record
- Travel Restrictions
- A Ban From The Establishment Where The Crime Happened
- Missed Employment Opportunities
- Community Service
- Legal Fees
- Jail Time
If you are facing charges of shoplifting or theft under $5,000, contact a criminal defence lawyer immediately. A criminal law firm will advocate on your behalf to the crown prosecutor and the judge.
This includes studying evidence such as video footage, interviewing witnesses, and creating a criminal case. We do not advise self-representation even for petty theft. Shoplifting charges can be detrimental without the proper knowledge and support a criminal lawyer can offer.
Protect yourself by making the right decision and hiring a qualified criminal defence lawyer that has experience defending shoplifting cases. A shoplifting charge can still affect your life in significant ways. Hiring a highly skilled defence lawyer will give you a better chance of getting the best possible outcome for your case.
Our Recent Case
We recently represented a mother who had been shopping in a local grocery store. She had her children with her and was using a stroller and placed a few grocery items in the basket portion of the stroller. Our client went to the till, paid for her items and left the store. To her horror, she was arrested outside of the store. She was treated terribly by the Loss Prevention Officer and the attending police officers. No one would believe her when she told them it was a mistake.
Our client was placed under arrest and charged with theft under, contrary to section 334(b) of the Code. She attended her first court appearance alone and terrified. Eventually, she retained us to help her. We quickly took over and got to work. Eventually, we were able to convince the Crown that it wasn’t in the public interest to continue the prosecution, but it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t quick.
Fortunately, this mother had the good sense to retain us so that we could help. Otherwise, a criminal conviction would have had disastrous impact on her and her family’s life.
If you are still unsure whether you should act a surety, you should seek legal advice before agreeing. A lawyer will explain all details needed so you can fully understand the situation at hand before committing. At Ross Lutz Barristers, our lawyers will provide a free initial consultation to learn more about your case. If you are looking for legal advice on a bail hearing, contact us today.