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Toronto Shoplifting and Theft Under $5000 Charges Lawyer

How to get Theft Under $5000/Shoplifting charges dropped

Ontario Crown Attorneys will sometimes refuse to drop or withdraw shoplifting charges and look for the accused to plead guilty or not guilty and take the case to trial. Sometimes they will only offer a discharge, but this results in a finding of guilt by the court. Absolute and conditional discharges will also normally show up on even the most basic criminal record checks for 1 or 3 years, respectively. Depending on the person’s profession, they also often are required to be disclosed to governing bodies. Discharges are not recognized by U.S. customs and can possibly result in problems travelling to the US.

Even if this is the first time you’ve been caught shoplifting and you have no prior record, the Crown may still seek a conviction and/or jail sentence against you. When hired, our initial job is to speak to the Crown directly and try to get them to drop the charges.

Your lawyer needs significant 2022 experience with theft under $5000 cases at the specific GTA courthouse your case is being heard at to ensure the greatest chance of your charges being dropped.

Every courthouse in the GTA area operates differently and within each courthouse every Crown Attorney looks at theft under $5000 cases differently. Some are more harsh on theft under cases than others. While some Crowns may be preferable to deal with for other types of criminal charges, they can be difficult in shoplifting cases because some see specific case factors as aggravating that others do not. Dropping the charges is a subjective decision meaning that there is no set formula that every Crown looks at. They use their own personal judgement.

For this reason, experience is extremely important when determining which Crown Attorney to deal with. It is crucial that your lawyer has handled numerous shoplifting cases at the same courthouse as your case. Having recent experience dealing with each specific Crown can dramatically increase the likelihood of getting the charges dropped.

In the last 10 years, our lawyer has handled over 2000 cases of theft under $5000 throughout all courthouses in Ontario.

We know which Crown Attorneys are preferable to deal with.

We also know exactly how to present your case to the prosecution in a way that maximizes the chance they will agree to drop/withdraw your charge. This is a process that sometimes takes patience. Your future will never be put in jeopardy by us dealing with the wrong person.

Every one of your court appearances will be handled directly by our lawyer. We will never send a paralegal, law student or other agent to court to deal with your case. All it takes is one inexperienced person to deal with the wrong Crown prosecutor, or present your case/background in the wrong way, and you could be put at risk.

It is important to note that the Crown Attorney retains the sole authority to drop the charges or not. It is not a decision that is made by the Judge. This being said, in some cases it is possible to have a Judge provide their opinion to the Crown that the charges should be dropped which can be very persuasive. This is often achieved through a process known as a Judicial Pre-Trial (JPT).

Knowing which factors are important to the specific Crown prosecutor dealing with your theft case

Each Crown Attorney reacts to specific case factors differently. Whether you are a first or second (or more) time accused shoplifter, having dealt with so many cases our lawyer knows what facts of your case will be an issue for the Crown and exactly what steps you need to take to correct their concerns prior to the court date. For example, some specific GTA Crowns will take a harsh position if the offence is alleged to have occurred in front of children (others don't care). In some locations, for second time shoplifters, if the offence is committed at the same store twice they view this as an aggravating factor (targeting the store).

We see potentially problematic case issues well in advance because we have dealt with so many shoplifting cases in all GTA courts. We’ll give you the exact steps and specific directions needed prior to the first court appearance to ensure the greatest chance of remedying the anticipated issues with your case and getting it withdrawn.

We have many shoplifting case precedents for dropped charges

When we are trying to convince the Crown prosecutor to drop your charges, we not only deal with the best Crowns and have taken all possible steps to help your case prior to the first court appearance, we also have the ability to present the Crown with current Toronto precedents of other shoplifting cases with similar facts where we were able to get the charges dropped. These precedents are extremely persuasive and are available to us because we focus on shoplifting cases and have acquired them as a result of our extensive experience.

Whether you’ve been charged in the past, have prior diversions, convictions, or other pending cases, we’ve dealt with it before (most likely with the same Crowns). Crowns are far more comfortable dropping your charges after seeing cases of similar facts in the GTA where the individuals were allowed to have their charges dropped. If you can show them that not agreeing to drop the charges is inconsistent to how they have acted in the past it is extremely persuasive.

Negotiating your shoplifting theft under $5000 case correctly with the Crown

There is plenty of time to plead not guilty and take a case to trial. Our initial goal is to ensure your charges get dropped. Our clients don't want to have a pending theft charge showing up on their criminal record for a year while they await trial. They also don’t want to worry about being convicted and having their life ruined with a permanent criminal record. It is in their best interests to have the case dropped and move with their lives as soon as possible.

While we can be the most difficult lawyers to deal with if we don’t get what we want, we put your interests first and do everything possible to get your shoplifting charges dropped as soon as possible. We don’t want to drag your case on with unnecessary adjournments/delays, we want to get the matter over with as soon as possible and ensure you don’t risk getting a criminal record.

Psychologically this is extremely important for accused who are concerned about their employment, school, travel and particularly for those who are in the immigration system and have IRCC applications pending for work permits, PR applications, etc.

Hiring a lawyer shows you take the charges seriously

When the accused has a lawyer to defend them for shoplifting, it proves to the Crown that they recognize and appreciate the seriousness of the offence. If the Crown agrees to drop a charge, it is often because they are convinced the person will not reoffend. Those who appear to be flippant about the case are often those with nothing left to lose and who are most likely to shoplift again. For those who do not appear to take the charge seriously the Crown may seek to impose limits on their freedoms through jail, probation, and peace bonds.

Hiring a lawyer to represent you shows that you take the matter seriously and understand that a theft under $5000 charge can ruin your career, travel, and immigration options. It also shows you are willing to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that you correct whatever underlying issues may exist and will never do it again. These are some of the most important factors that the Crown will consider when deciding whether to continue with the prosecution or drop the charges.

What is the difference between a dropped charge and a withdrawn charge?

The term “dropped” refers to circumstances where the Crown Attorney (prosecutor) chooses not to proceed with the charges. In most cases this means that the Crown will withdraw the charges. Once the charges are withdrawn they cannot be restarted. In some cases the Crown will “stay” the charges which means they could technically restart them within one year but this very rarely happens. For this reason, we always take all steps to have them withdraw the charges. In most cases when the Crown agrees to drop the case they will withdraw it either way.

Call us today for a free assessment

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with all forms of theft and fraud related offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on theft and fraud related charges protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record.

Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • US travel advice and information
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance with U.S. travel, immigration, employment background checks, and avoiding a criminal record. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed. We also only take calls/emails relating to Ontario, Canada area cases.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a theft or fraud related case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.


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  We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel