Overview of Theft Charges in Edmonton

Overview of Theft Charges in Edmonton

Facing a theft charge can be very serious. In Alberta, it is one of the most commonly prosecuted charges. As reported by Statistics Canada, there were 83,324 province-wide theft charges for under $5,000 in the year 2022.

If you or a loved one has been charged with theft in Edmonton, you may want to get the help of a criminal lawyer who can work with you to defend your case. Contact us at Verhaeghe Law Office today to schedule a consultation and go over details of your situation.

Types of Theft Offences

According to Canada’s Criminal Code, theft is broken down into two sections: the first is theft under $5,000. This type can be prosecuted through summary conviction or indictment. The decision is made by the Crown Prosecutor.

The second type is theft over $5,000. Known as being a “straight indictable” offence, this charge is more serious, and could result in severe punishment options upon sentencing.

Recently, car theft has been on the rise. In fact, Alberta has the second-highest rate of automobile theft in Canada. The Edmonton police reported that vehicle theft rose 7.6 percent in 2023 compared to the year prior. Other common types of theft include credit card fraud, shoplifting, embezzlement, and the stealing of personal belongings.

If you have been charged with theft, there are many reasons to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Not only do they know how to follow procedures correctly and navigate legal technicalities, but they may also help you create as strong a case as possible by compiling evidence and witnesses.

Theft versus Robbery

While they may share similarities, there are some key distinctions between theft and robbery that may prove useful to know so as to best navigate the intricacies within your own case.

A main difference is that robbery includes the use or threat of force or violence. Under Section 343 of the Criminal Code, robbery occurs when theft is accompanied by the use or threat of force or intimidation. The Criminal Code also points to several factors that could differentiate a theft charge from a robbery charge, which includes the use of weapons, the level of violence, or the level of planning involved.

This presence of violence has the potential to significantly increase the severity of a case. For theft that is classified as summary convictions (theft up to $5,000), the maximum penalty is a $5,000 fine and/or six months of imprisonment. If the case is indictable, (theft over $5,000), sentencing may include fines and up to 10 years of prison time.

However, if convicted of robbery, penalties can range from a minimum of four years of incarceration up to life imprisonment. Working with an Edmonton criminal lawyer could provide valuable legal guidance.

Book a Consultation with Our Edmonton Criminal Lawyers

Theft charges can be difficult to navigate on your own and may be more serious than you initially realize. Navigating the criminal system can be overwhelming and incredibly technical. To better protect yourself and build a strong case, contact us at Verhaeghe Law Office to schedule a consultation with our criminal defense lawyers today.

** Please note, this article is intended as a general overview on the subject of criminal law, and is not intended to be legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice, please consult with an Alberta criminal lawyer.

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