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Toronto Shoplifting and Theft Under $5000 Charges Lawyer

How to keep your spouse, family members, and other people in your community from finding out you were charged with shoplifting or theft under $5000.

Approximately 50% of our clients are married or in long term relationships. The rest have parents, children, relatives, and/or are members of a community tied to their home country, religion, or ethnic background. They are people with families and social lives. They are not only ashamed and embarrassed about being criminally charged but also extremely concerned about their reputation among their family, friends, and community.

Preventing other people from finding out you’re facing criminal charges is a huge component of our practice. We take active steps to work with our clients to ensure the greatest likelihood that people they do not wish to find out they were charged never do.

One of the first questions we ask clients who call us is whether their spouse is aware they are charged for two reasons:
  1. As a lawyer, it is essential to protect our clients’ confidentiality under attorney client privilege and we have to be careful to never identify ourselves on future calls to someone who does not know about the charges

  2. Half of our clients do not want their spouse to ever find out about them being charged and thus part of our job is to do everything possible to ensure we handle the case in a way that reduces the likelihood of this ever happening. The process of keeping your charges a secret is time sensitive and begins on day one.

Will my husband or wife find out that I was charged with shoplifting? I don't want them to know this happened.

About 50% of our clients want to actively try to prevent their spouse, parent, child, or other person they live with from finding out about the charges. As such, a large part of our practice is dedicated to actively taking steps to prevent specific people in our client’s lives from ever finding out they were charged.

There are things we can do to significantly reduce the risk of your spouse or others from independently discovering you were charged with theft, fraud, etc. Of course, when you are charged with shoplifting (given a Form 9 Appearance Notice with a fingerprint and court date), this is a matter of public record that is discoverable. Practically speaking, however, there are several ways to substantially reduce the chance of your spouse and other people from figuring it out. Fortunately, most of the high risk ways are, to varying degrees, within our control.

Limiting court time exposure

Given that all Ontario courts are open, busy, publicly accessible places, we want to limit your exposure to the courtroom and courthouse as much as possible. Depending on the courthouse your case is being heard at, there may be 100 other people on the same court docket as you are on any given day. There are also hundreds of other people in other courtrooms at the same court house. For this reason, we ideally try to whisk our clients in and out of the courtroom as quickly and discreetly as possible.

Eliminating the paper trail and keeping correspondence regarding the charges from the police, the Ministry of the Attorney General, and other related entities out of your home mailbox

The most common way a spouse finds out independently that their partner was charged is from mail relating to the matter being sent to your address. Part of the services we provide to all of our clients is ensuring that if they do not want to receive letters and court documents in the mail from the Police, the Ministry of the Attorney General, and other related entities, that we direct that this mail to be discreetly sent to us instead.

Given that these important letters and documents can be sent to your address for more than 2 years after the arrest date it is not realistically possible to predict their arrival and therefore intercepting and hiding them from a spouse/significant other can be difficult if more than one person checks the mail. Many of our clients who do not want their spouse to find out they were charged prefer mail relating to the case disposition and fingerprint destruction process be sent to us and not them so that their spouse/relative/housemates never have the opportunity to see it.

Taking steps to reduce the likelihood the Police or Children’s Aid Society will show up at your house

Sometimes police will need to correct an error or, in cases where a child is present, CAS will come to your house. This risk can never be 100% eliminated but there are some practical things you can do to reduce the likelihood of this happening. We know the risk factors and advise all of our clients of exactly what they should be on the lookout for and respond to ensure the greatest chance of continued discretion.

How can I prevent people from my church, temple, mosque, or ethnic community from finding out I was charged with shoplifting?

The courts are public places in Ontario that are open to all and there can be no guarantees as to who may find out for this reason. This being said, they will probably not find out unless you tell them or someone who finds out about it tells them. We recommend that our clients keep quiet and tell nobody that they have been charged because there is no way of ever knowing who will talk and tell other people.

People, by nature, tend to gossip. When your reputation is on the line the only person you can trust is your lawyer whose communications with you are protected by attorney client privilege, which is the highest level of confidentiality protection available in Canada. Even communications with a medical doctor, for example, may be disclosed upon court order or in other circumstances. Ideally, the only person a criminal defendant should be speaking to about their case is their lawyer.

Keeping your case a secret from your community, to the best degree we can, is a paramount objective for us because being criminally charged with theft/fraud can irreversibly damage your reputation.

We have clients from almost every statistically significant country/region in terms of population including: India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, China/Hong Kong, the UK, the EU, Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, the Philippians, the US, South America, Australia, etc. Many are respected members of their communities, churches, mosques and other cultural/religious affiliations and their biggest concern or fear is that the people in their community will find out about the charges. We take every step possible to ensure that your case is handled as discreetly and efficiently as possible. We limit our clients' exposure to the courtrooms and other public forums to the greatest degree we can. We also work to provide excuses, reasons, and plausible deniability in cases where information regarding the charge is discovered.

Our lawyer, while not a part of any local community/group in Toronto, was born and raised in a small city in Nova Scotia and understands the nature of living in a constricted community where people talk and gossip. Not only is being charged with shoplifting embarrassing, it can severely and permanently damage your reputation. Preserving the secrecy and confidentiality of your case from your spouse, parent, children, or larger community is a top priority and we proactively work with our clients to ensure the greatest likelihood that those who you do not want to find out about the charges never do.

What if other people already know about the charges or I want to eventually come clean and tell my spouse/parent what happened? How do I minimize the damage?

In circumstances where others already know, or our client wishes to disclose this information to them, we know how to manage it and take steps to ensure it is presented in the most mitigating and universally acceptable way possible. While 50% of our clients instruct us to help them keep their charges a secret from their spouse or family members, others want us to help them "break the news", or they have family members they want us to talk to. For more information on this specific issue, see here.

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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  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