Shoplifting Charges Lawyer in Brampton, Canada

Shoplifting and related theft charges are among the most common minor legal issues that courts deal with regularly. Despite their perceived minor nature, being convicted for a property-related crime like shoplifting can severely impact your future employment prospects and travel opportunities. It’s not uncommon for individuals to commit such acts due to a lapse in judgment, impulsive behavior, or as a result of certain health conditions. 

At FMK Law Group, our Brampton criminal lawyers are dedicated to supporting you during this challenging time. We aim to alleviate your worries by offering comprehensive legal assistance. Our goal is to protect your criminal record and reputation, ensuring that we provide exceptional service to safeguard your future.

While our Shoplifting Charges services are centered in Brampton, we extend our representation to clients across the Greater Toronto Region, encompassing areas such as Oakville, Mississauga, Milton, and Burlington.

Shoplifting Charges lawyer

What Is Shoplifting?

According to the Canadian Criminal Code,

Shoplifting refers to the criminal act of stealing merchandise from a retail establishment without paying for it, typically involving items worth less than $5,000.

In legal terms, this is defined under theft in the Canadian Criminal Code, which considers the unauthorized taking of someone else’s property with the intention of permanently or temporarily depriving the owner of it. For those found guilty of theft under $5,000, the law stipulates that it can be treated as a summary offence. The consequences for such an offence can include a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to six months, or both. 

However, these are the maximum penalties, and the actual punishment for a first-time offender is usually less severe.

Elements of Shoplifting

Though each province’s laws differ, shoplifting offences usually consist of two elements:

  1. Taking hold of or hiding items that are being offered for sale.
  2. Intention to deprive the items’ legitimate owner (usually a retailer) of ownership without paying the purchase price.

Importantly, this means that in many places, an act can be considered shoplifting even if the individual did not attempt to leave a store with stolen goods. Simply concealing products inside or outside the store can often result in a criminal conviction. Although it is necessary to have the intention to steal an item from a store, several states consider hiding products as evidence of intent.

In some areas, a shoplifter must continue past the point of sale before the offence is considered complete.

Shoplifting laws make it illegal for someone to avoid paying the total purchase price for an item, in addition to concealing the item to avoid paying for it. This can include, for example:

  1. Changing the price tags
  2. Manipulation of goods
  3. Putting products in various containers or packaging to avoid paying the entire or a portion of the purchase price

One of the most popular shoplifting strategies is to go through self-checkout aisles and scan certain products while pretending to scan others. From afar, the shoplifters appear to be paying for their products, even though they steal the same amount (or more) as they buy.

Consequences for Shoplifting in Brampton, Canada

In Brampton, Canada, the consequences for shoplifting vary depending on the value of the stolen items. If the value is under $5,000, it’s considered a summary offence and may result in a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a jail term of up to six months. 

However, if the value exceeds $5,000, it becomes an indictable offence, potentially leading to a fine of up to $25,000 and/or a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. It’s important to note that these penalties are not set in stone and can be influenced by various factors unique to each case. 

Additionally, shoplifting can have long-term consequences beyond legal penalties, such as damage to one’s reputation and difficulty finding future employment. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the seriousness of this offence and its potential impact on one’s life.

How to Avoid Shoplifting Charges in Brampton, Canada

Shoplifting is a serious offence in Brampton, Canada and can result in significant consequences, including imprisonment, restitution payments to the affected store, and inclusion in a national database of shoplifters. Moreover, a criminal record stemming from shoplifting can hinder future job opportunities and international travel prospects.

To avoid being charged with shoplifting in Brampton, it’s important to adhere to some basic guidelines:

  1. Be mindful of store surveillance systems and avoid areas monitored by security cameras.
  2. Refrain from placing items in your pockets or bag unless you intend to purchase them.
  3. Resist the temptation to remove security tags from items.
  4. Avoid attempting to conceal merchandise on your person.
  5. Ensure that all items in your possession are properly paid for before leaving the store.

Facing Shoplifting Charges? Our Brampton Criminal Lawyer Can Help

If you’re facing Shoplifting charges or other charges like Public mischiefBreak and enterMischiefThreatsFraud, ForgeryTheft, and Proceeds of crime, you need experienced, dedicated, and committed representation. At FMK Law Group, our Brampton criminal lawyers have the knowledge, dedication, and commitment that cases of this nature require.

We can help you navigate these difficult times and work tirelessly to achieve the best results possible for your case. Contact us at (647) 269-8414 for a consultation with FMK Law Group today. One of our Brampton criminal lawyers will gladly meet with you to discuss your case.