Defend Toronto Shoplifting Charges
We provide affordable criminal lawyer representation for shoplifting/theft under $5000 charges (section 334(b)) of the Criminal Code of Canada.If you've been charged with shoplifting in the Greater Toronto Area and are looking for a lawyer you've come to the right place. We provide timely, effective, and affordable legal representation for individuals charged with shoplifting (including theft under $5000, fraud under $5000, and possession of stolen property).
Not only is our fee among the most competitive in the industry, we take all steps necessary to ensure the greatest chance that your charges will ultimately be withdrawn (dropped) and that you avoid a criminal record. We also work to achieve the least onerous case resolutions possible (often allowing our clients to avoid having to perform community service hours, sign peace bonds, attend counselling, and participate in public shoplifting workshops).
Our clients are also fully advised of how to proactively avoid and reduce potential problems travelling to the US and how to suppress the charge information from showing up on certain types of employment background checks in the future. For immigrant clients, we also take proactive steps to help them avoid potential problems with their immigration status and future applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Consequences of a Shoplifting ConvictionShoplifting, or theft under $5000, is a criminal offence under Section 334(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada that can result in severe penalties and a criminal record.
Convicted shoplifters face numerous potential consequences, including:
- job loss
- a conviction, criminal record, fines, probation, and risk of imprisonment in a provincial jail or federal penitentiary
- problems with immigration, permanent residence, and citizenship applications
- being deemed ineligible for certain professions, jobs, and other opportunities
- being deemed inadmissible and denied entry into the United States or other countries (the US considers charges of theft and fraud to be crimes of moral turpitude which can cause a traveller to be found inadmissible)
- living with the social stigma of a charge or criminal record
- risk of the case being reported in the media or forever publicly accessible online in legal case databases and directories
- information relating to the charge itself being forwarded to the RCMP and shared with US customs and other law enforcement agencies across Canada, the UK, many countries in the EU, Australia, and other countries (this applies to everyone who is fingerprinted/charged regardless of the outcome of the case)
- the arrest information automatically showing up on vulnerable sector checks, police information checks and other background records screenings in the future (regardless of the disposition or result or their case).
Getting caught and charged with shoplifting is not just embarrassing, it can severely damage a person's livelihood, freedom, and future opportunities. Just being accused of theft causes people and employers to see you as someone who cannot be trusted.
It is important for the public to understand that just being charged (receiving a Form 9 - Notice to Appear) for theft under $5000, fraud under $5000, and/or possession of property obtained by crime means that your name and date of birth (along with your fingerprints) will be forwarded by your local police department to the RCMP and stored in the national CPIC database which is shared with US customs, the UK, Australia, and many countries (in the EU and elsewhere).
This information sharing can cause problems with travel, immigration, and employment opportunities for you in the future, though there are things you can do to proactively avoid and remedy these potential problems.
Sometimes shoplifting charges can be withdrawn (dropped).If you've been charged with shoplifting/theft under 5000, the best possible outcome is for the Crown Attorney to agree not to prosecute you and withdraw (drop) the charges.
If you retain us to represent you, our primary purpose is to do everything in our power to ensure the highest likelihood that the charges against you are withdrawn and that you avoid getting a criminal record.
We also strive to ensure our clients receive the least onerous resolution possible in their case. This includes negotiating agreements that allow our clients to avoid having to perform substantial community service hours and counselling. Additionally, in some cases the Crown will seek that the accused enter into a peace bond which will show up on a criminal record check. In such cases, we speak to the Crown and present alternative arrangements in hopes of avoiding a peace bond requirement.
Are shoplifting charges always dropped or withdrawn?No. In some cases the Crown Attorney (prosecutor) will seek that the accused receive a criminal conviction record. The main factors that Crown Attorney's look at in determining whether to prosecute include:
- the accused's criminal history (including prior warnings, cautions, charges, withdrawn charges, and convictions);
- whether the accused has any other charges currently pending;
- the value or amount of goods taken;
- whether the items taken were manipulated (tags removed, taken out of packaging, etc.);
- whether the accused is known to store security;
- the accused's attitude and reaction at the time of arrest;
- the accused's relationship to the store where the items were stolen (victim);
- whether children were present at the time of the offence;
- the seriousness of the case, including amount stolen, number of items, and other aggravating factors.
Our lawyer has successfully negotiated and obtained specific agreements with the Crown Attorney's office in cases that are traditionally more difficult - including numerous cases involving individuals who have been charged with shoplifting in the past, cases of high value theft, multiple items, and other aggravating factors.
Will I be defended by an actual criminal lawyer or a paralegal?You will be represented only by a Practising Lawyer certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada, not a paralegal.
Having a lawyer represent you ensures you are represented with the highest level of legal expertise. You also gain the benefits of the privacy protections guaranteed by attorney/client privilege.
With your reputation on the line, you deserve nothing less than the highest level of discreet and confidential representation by a lawyer.
What else does your legal fee include?Our flat fee also includes:
- Fingerprints, photograph (mugshot) and records destruction services;
- How to handle future questions from potential employers and law enforcement officials regarding the incident;
- How to minimize and avoid potential problems crossing the US border;
- Information relating to permanent residence applications, citizenship, and other immigration related issues;
- How to suppress records of the arrest showing up on certain types of employment background checks;
- Attending certain court appearances on your behalf allowing you to avoid missing work, school, etc.;
- What you can do to ensure your case is completed as soon as possible;
- How to deal with legal demand letters you may receive (department store fines).
How long will my case take to finish?Many times we are able to have the matter resolved completely at the first court appearance. Sometimes, however, other factors delay the process such as the Crown not having received disclosure (evidence) from the police prior to the first court date. Also, if community service work or counselling is required (despite our best efforts to avoid such onerous conditions), you may have to return to court again at a subsequent date. Generally speaking, cases that involve aggravating factors take longer to resolve.
Our goal is to have the charges dropped and the matter resolved as quickly as possible and ensure you are fully informed of exactly what steps you can take to minimize and avoid problems with US travel, certain employment background checks, immigration issues, and more. We represent you and protect your interests throughout the entire process.
You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with shoplifting offences in the Toronto area.
Our flat fee for most cases, $1200.00, is perhaps the lowest in the industry. Have a skilled lawyer who focuses on shoplifting charges protect you and your future from a criminal record.
call us: 647-228-5969
call us: 647-228-5969
- Flat fee pricing
- US travel advice and information
- Employment background check advice/services
- Fingerprints and records destruction services
- Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
- Help with related immigration issues
- Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
- Experienced, focused counsel
If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance with US travel, immigration, employment background checks, and avoiding a criminal record. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.
We only can take calls/emails relating to GTA area cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.
Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a theft or fraud under $5000 related case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.
Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.
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