The Charge

Theft is defined as taking something unlawfully, and without “color of right” (a legitimate claim or belief in relation to the property taken).

A conviction for theft, even of a small amount, can have wide-ranging negative consequences on your life. Theft is considered a “crime of dishonesty” and a conviction will therefore affect your reputation in your community.

Potential employers may refuse or terminate your employment if their business involves handling money or the use of valuable property. Your friends, family and peers may view you as unworthy of their trust.

Let Calgary Criminal Lawyers repair the damage to your reputation and future prospects by contacting us right away. We will develop a strategy based on your desired outcome and immediately start working on minimizing the consequences for you.

Bail

You may be placed on conditions not to contact any victims or witnesses in relation to your case. In addition, you will likely be banned from going to the place you allegedly stole from. These conditions can cause significant hardship, so contact Calgary Criminal Lawyers, who can work to alter the terms of your release to keep your life as normal as possible.

Employer theft

An allegation that you have stolen or defrauded your employer is treated extremely seriously in Alberta. The Courts have constantly stated that stealing from your employer, absent exceptional circumstances, ought to result in a jail sentence if you are found guilty. This is because (1) a theft from your employer involves a breach of the trust they placed in you to handle their property honestly, and (2) such thefts are unfortunately very common in Alberta.

In addition, the Crown will not approve anyone alleged to have committed a theft from their workplace for any out-of-court diversion programs; instead, they will seek jail if you are found or plead guilty.

Don’t plead guilty to stealing from your employer before meeting with Calgary Criminal Lawyers! You are presumed to be innocent until the Crown proves otherwise, and the Crown’s case may not be sufficiently strong to prove you guilty.

The Defence

Theft from employer cases often involve a large volume of documents as evidence, and there are strict and complicated rules about whether those documents are admissible in court. We are well-versed in those rules and will not hesitate to challenge if the circumstances call for it. We will obtain and review all the documents in the police file with you, with special attention paid to the following important issues:

  • Is there sufficient evidence to prove you committed the theft?
  • Are there other alternative suspects who could have committed the theft?
  • Even though you took the money or property, did you believe you had a legitimate claim to it?

If you begin to suspect that you are under suspicion for stealing from your employer, DO NOT DISCUSS THE MATTER WITH YOUR FELLOW EMPLOYEES, YOUR SUPERVISOR, OR THE POLICE. Anything you say to anyone about the alleged offence can be used in court against you. We have unfortunately seen numerous cases where the Accused person provided the missing piece the prosecution needed to ensure a conviction by making statements to co-workers, supervisors, or the police.

Contact us immediately if you are being investigated by your employer for wrongdoing. There is a time and a place, and a person to tell your side of the story.

The place is not your boss’s office, or the police station.

The person is not your boss, co-worker or a police officer.

The time is not when you are being pressured by any of the above people to give a statement.

Rather, you should tell us your side of the story when you meet with us in the safety and comfort of our offices, and you are protected by the lawyer-client relationship.

The Sentence

If the amount of property stolen is alleged to exceed $5000, you are liable to a jail term of up to 10 years. You may also be put on probation for up to 3 years, and fined several thousand dollars.

If the property you are alleged to have stolen is worth less than $5000, you could go to jail for up to 2 years, be put on probation for up to 3 years, and/or fined several thousand dollars.

The Judge can also make an order that you pay the victims back the entire value of the property stolen (this is called a “restitution order”).

Calgary Criminal Lawyers are especially skilled at negotiating out-of-court resolutions for first-time offenders, whether that be: acceptance into a diversion program; a guilty plea to a less serious charge, or more informal resolutions.