If you have been accused of theft or robbery, you may be wondering what your options are. The difference between a charge of theft and robbery is that in the latter case, a weapon was used. Even if the Crown has significant evidence against you, a defence lawyer can help; they can provide potential arguments for your case, and in turn, reduce your charge or sentence.
When a person is accused of stealing, the Criminal Code of Canada makes two distinctions: theft over $5000, and theft under $5000. Even if the offence involves less than $5000, you will have an entry on your criminal record, and possibly face jail time of up to two years. For charges that comprise more than $5000 or involve a weapon, this is considered a serious crime – you may receive a prison sentence of up to ten years. Offences against an employer can be quite severe, as they qualify as a breach of trust. A criminal defence lawyer is familiar with the intricacies of the law. If you are accused of theft or robbery, it is strongly advisable to seek legal advice from a trusted firm.
By enlisting the services of a criminal defence lawyer, you will protect yourself from the worst-case scenario. They can discuss the details of your case and determine the best course of action. An attorney understands the different mitigating factors and arguments for cases involving theft or robbery and can build a strong defence for you. They can advocate for a diversion, which requires you to take a theft prevention program, do community service, or rehabilitation as opposed to a sentence. It will also prevent charges from appearing on your criminal record. Factors that improve the chances of a successful diversion are if it’s a first-time offence and the amount stolen is under $5000.
Different circumstances that surround your arrest can be used to have your charges reduced or dropped altogether. A defence lawyer will highlight the strengths of your case, and de-emphasize weaknesses. For example, consider witness statements; these can be unreliable and often inaccurate. An attorney understands how to bring out inconsistencies in other accounts of the event. If you have given erroneous statements about the theft or robbery, a lawyer can reduce their validity by pointing out how they were obtained improperly. Finally, if there is surveillance footage of the event, a lawyer can bring attention to unclear aspects of it to reduce its incriminating qualities.
If you were intoxicated during the incident, you may have mistakenly committed theft, believing that the property was yours. You can claim that the item was being borrowed rather than stolen, and you intended to return it to its owner. But it is not as simple as making these claims; a defense lawyer can help provide the evidence required to support them.
If you have been charged with theft or robbery, the best thing to do is to contact a lawyer. Are you searching for Winnipeg defence lawyers? The professionals at Brodsky Amy & Gould have proven experience with representing persons accused of these crimes; our attorneys have a long track record of successfully diverting charges, advocating for shorter sentences, and getting clients acquitted.