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Theft is pretty broadly defined and includes shoplifting.  A conviction for theft results in a criminal record and is a serious matter.

Punishment for theft is dealt with under section 334 of the Criminal Code and is basically a maximum sentence of ten years in prison if the value of what was stolen was over $5,000. or was a testamentary instrument (a will).

If the theft was under $5,000. then the offence is a Crown option offence where the Crown can proceed either by way of indictment, in which case the maximum sentence is for a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years, or an offence punishable on summary conviction, where the maximum sentence would be a fine of $5,000. or 2 years in jail, or both.

Do not be lulled into thinking a shoplifting or “theft under” charge is not serious.  A criminal record results and there are consequences which can last a lifetime.  Travel can become a problem.  Multiple convictions make is more likely that bail restrictions will be imposed or bail denied altogether. Problems obtaining employment are becoming increasingly serious for people with any criminal record at all.

If you have been charged with shoplifting or theft, particularly as a first time, you should talk to a lawyer.  Patrick Penny has been handling criminal law matters for over 32 years and can give you good, solid advice as to what your best options might be.  Call Patrick Penny today!

Theft Over Theft Under

Theft Under The Criminal Code Of Canada

322. (1) Every one commits theft who fraudulently and without colour of right takes, or fraudulently and without colour of right converts to his use or to the use of another person, anything, whether animate or inanimate, with intent

(a) to deprive, temporarily or absolutely, the owner of it, or a person who has a special property or interest in it, of the thing or of his property or interest in it;

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

(c) to part with it under a condition with respect to its return that the person who parts with it may be unable to perform; or

(d) to deal with it in such a manner that it cannot be restored in the condition in which it was at the time it was taken or converted.

Call today.

Patrick Penny: (403) 342-9595.


Red Deer, Edmonton, Calgary, Rocky Mountain House, Stettler, Rimbey, Didsbury, Ponoka, Lacombe, Wainwright, Killam, Leduc, Wetaskiwin, Swan Hills, Whitecourt, Camrose, Airdrie, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie – anywhere in Alberta for a criminal law lawyer.