(A) The definition

Although the term is commonly used, many people are misinformed about what actually constitutes theft. We are inclined to think that to steal is to take and leave with something that does not belong to us. For example, shoplifting. However, it is not always that simple, and it is important to understand what the definition of theft really is. Section 322 of the Criminal Code gives us the exact definition of this offence. According to this definition, a theft occurs when anyone who takes, or converts to his own use or to the use of another person, fraudulently and without appearance of right, anything with the intent to temporarily deprive its rightful owner.

There is theft from the moment when an individual moves something with the intent of stealing something. Thus, for example, there may be a theft even if the person does not leave the business (or the place where it is) with the object they’re trying to steal. Therefore, putting an object in a bag or camouflaging it and heading towards the exit, may be sufficient to be accused of theft. It will also be necessary to prove the intent of the individual to steal the object in question.

(B) Theft or Fraud by en Employee or motor vehicle theft

The law provides for certain aggravating circumstances in matters of theft. A simple example is committing a theft against your employer. The fact that the theft is committed in a work environment is an aggravating circumstance, when it comes to negotiating a sentence. In other words, for sentences are more severe due to the relationship of trust that exists between an employer and an employee. Similarly, vehicle thefts are also considered more serious and are subject to severe sentences due to the nature of the object.

(C) Defenses

Just because an individual is charged with theft does not mean he is automatically guilty of that offence. Often, people are detained by security agents and do not have the opportunity to explain the situation. It is not uncommon for people to be charged with theft when it was simply an error of carelessness or forgetfulness, and they had no intention of stealing the merchandise.

It is important for these individuals to consult with a criminal lawyer, who will be able to inform them of the appropriate procedure and evaluate the possibility of obtaining an acquittal.

It is a lawyer’s job to do everything in his power to prevent these people from ending up with a criminal record.

D) Avoiding a criminal record

It is imperative to know that even in cases where the person recognizes that he or she has committed a theft with the intent to do so, it is possible avoid a criminal record.

Ask our lawyers about the possibility of obtaining a discharge, with or without conditions.


The offence of fraud, provided under section 380 of the Criminal Code, states that every person is guilty of fraud who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, defrauds the public or any person, of any good, service, money or value. The terms “deceit” and “falsehood” refer to situations such as those involving false declarations or organized tricks to obtain money or property. It must be understood that it is not required to prove that the fraudulent means have really deprived the victim, or inversely, that the accused has actually benefited from the fraud. The fact that there was a risk of injury / damage is sufficient. The Criminal Code distinguishes between fraud over 5,000$ and fraud under 5,000$. The person accused of fraud is therefore charged for an amount less than or greater than 5,000$.

A) Differentiating between fraud and theft

Theft consists in taking an object from a person who does not consent to dispose of it. The person therefore intends to steal, and the complainant, for his part, has no intention of disposing of his property. Conversely, fraud involves obtaining property through fraudulent and dishonest means. Thus, in the case of fraud, the complainant agrees to dispose of the property, but only following fraudulent means. If you are charged with this offence, please contact our criminal lawyers to better understand the proper way to deal with it.