Many people picture stealing when they think of theft. Even though this is technically a theft crime, there are many more instances when this accusation applies in British Columbia. Theft on pretenses, receiving stolen items, and service theft are just a few examples. These instances illustrate that shoplifting is just one kind of theft covered under British Columbia law.
If you have been accused of a theft-related offense in British Columbia, a theft lawyer can help you build a strong defense strategy that accounts for the unique details of your case. You may greatly improve your chances of securing the best possible legal result for your case by retaining the services of a tenacious New Westminster criminal lawyer who has practiced law for many years.
Theft Charges in British Columbia
Even if an object is not physically taken from its owner, a person may still be arrested for stealing in British Columbia. In situations of accused shoplifting, the simple intent to steal is already a crime. Intention is a key factor in almost all situations involving theft. “Theft” refers to intentionally taking another person’s property to deprive them of its use. Theft accusations in British Columbia often include the following:
- Deception-based theft
- Theft of utilities and other services
- Acquiring lost or stolen items, even accidentally
- Worker robbery
- Using threats or force to steal
The rules against theft may appear clear at first glance, but their apparent simplicity belies the complexity and experience one must have to follow them correctly. If you are facing charges of shoplifting or robbery with violence in British Columbia, consulting with an experienced Vancouver assault lawyer might be very helpful.
Potential Consequences of a Theft Conviction
The value of the stolen goods serves as the starting point for defining theft under British Columbia law. The maximum sentence increases to 10 years if the value exceeds $5000. Conversely, the maximum sentence is two years behind bars if the item’s worth is less than $5,000.
The court takes several variables into account while deciding on sentencing. Theft from an employer (employee theft), for instance, is seen as more severe than theft of opportunity and warrants a harsher penalty. Significant aggravating elements include theft committed in violation of trust, such as that committed by a home-care nurse against a patient, an accountant against a customer, or a corporate official against the firm. Depending on the nature of the theft, the Criminal Code may impose harsher penalties.
Have Theft Charges Been Filed Against You? Help is Available from a British Columbia Theft Lawyer
Whether you’re facing charges for petit or grand theft, you must begin assembling your legal team immediately. Defending oneself against theft allegations is difficult without legal representation due to the case’s complexity. Finding the top British Columbia theft lawyer is crucial when your freedom is in danger.
When defending clients in British Columbia criminal matters, your lawyer will vigorously contest the prosecution’s evidence and craft a defense plan to get your charges reduced or dropped once and for all. Keep in mind that a theft accusation does not automatically imply guilt. The burden of proof is with the prosecution to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you were guilty of theft, that the item in question did not rightfully belong to you, and that you took it. An expert British Columbia theft lawyer will be able to find all available defenses to your theft charges.
Do not stare at a jail term if you have been accused of stealing. Contact us for a no-cost first consultation to have one of our experienced lawyers weigh your defense options.