Theft, like many other property related crimes, is separated into two categories depending on whether the value of the property was under or over $5,000. In order to establish the offence, the Crown must prove that the Accused took the complainant’s property, with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of the use/ownership of that property. While the potential consequences of a conviction will vary, where the offence was committed against the Accused’s employer it may result in a higher sentence.
What You Need to Know
- Where the value of the property stolen exceeds $5,000, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.
- Where the value of the property stolen does not exceed $5,000, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.
- Where the circumstances surrounding the offence are relatively minor, the Accused may be eligible for the Diversion program (see below) through the Elizabeth Fry Society.
The diversion program is available to first time offenders who are accused of “Stage One Provincial Offences”. In order to be eligible for the program an Accused person must be approved by the Crown Attorney. If approved, completion of the program will result in the charges against the Accused person being withdrawn, thereby avoiding a criminal conviction. The program’s requirements will vary depending on the Accused’s personal circumstances. The program often requires community service, counselling, restitution, and an acknowledgment of wrongful conduct. Where the program is completed successfully, the Accused does not receive any criminal record.