Home  |  FAQ  |  Terms  |  About  |  Learn  |  Contact    

Toronto Shoplifting and Theft Under $5000 Charges Lawyer

Credit Card Fraud and Theft Charges in Canada

Credit card thefts and frauds are codified in the Criminal Code under Section 342 and include both stealing and using the credit card itself (S. 342 (1)) and unauthorized use of credit card data (S. 342 (3)).

A common form of Fraud is when an individual uses someone else's credit card for purchases without their permission. This usually follows a theft resulting from intentionally taking the card from someone's wallet or purse. Oftentimes the accused simply found a purse or wallet that was lost and instead of returning it to the owner or the Police they keep it for themselves and use its contents.

Theft from normal, everyday people is generally considered more serious than theft from stores (absent aggravating factors such as the person being employed there). In cases where lost property is taken and used it is usually an innocent third party that suffers the loss. The victim in these types of cases is often just an everyday person who was unfortunate enough to misplace or mistakenly leave behind their property.

When the finder of that property exploits this by trying to fraudulently enrich themselves this is viewed as highly aggravating by the Crown Attorney (Prosecutor) and the courts in Ontario, Canada. Cases where the theft was premeditated and planned (stolen from a locker, bag, etc.) are considered even worse.

Often a large amount of police work has to go into tracking down and charging the accused

Another reason these cases are heavily prosecuted is because it can take quite a bit of police resources to track down the suspect. Often the police must attend at businesses where the fraudulent purchases took place, obtain and review CCTV footage, and try to figure out the identity of the accused using motor vehicle/licence plate/driver's license searches or even by going to the public to help identify the individual. This takes a significant amount of time and effort in many cases prior to the charges being laid.

Punishments and Consequences for first time offenders in Canada

The definition of the crime and its maximum punishments are found in Section 342 of the Criminal Code. The Code states if the accused is found guilty of credit card fraud or theft they can be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail if the Crown Attorney proceeds summarily or 10 years in prison if the Crown Attorney proceeds by indictment.

Lengthy jail sentences are more likely for accused who have previous arrest records or in high value cases. For most first time offenders, the Crown will normally ask the Judge to impose a short jail sentence or probation combined with a criminal record. Getting a criminal record for fraud would have a devastating effect on the accused as it can prevent them from obtaining employment and from travelling to the US.

Credit card fraud is sometimes a crime of random opportunity and temptation

While some forms of credit card fraud/theft are crimes of highly premeditated dishonesty, in other cases it is the result of a random find leading to temptation and a bad decision in the moment. Many of us have grown up with a "finders keepers, losers weepers" mentality, but the criminal law deems taking and using things you do not own as theft. Just because you find someone's bike, hat, wallet, etc. doesn't make you the owner of that property.

As a conviction for any form of fraud would have a devastating impact on a person's ability to seek and maintain employment, prevent them from travelling to US and other countries, and impact their Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada application (if applicable), those charged should consult a lawyer immediately as even a first time offender is facing a very serious prospect of some jail time and a criminal record.

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.


Your questions and concerns are extremely important to me.


Error: please enable JavaScript and reload this page before using the form.

  Law and Consequences

  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