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Toronto Shoplifting and Theft Under $5000 Charges Lawyer

Summons to a Person Charged With an Offence

In some theft, fraud, and other criminal cases, the police will serve a Summons to the accused, which is found in Form 6 of the Criminal Code (Sections 493, 508, and 512).

In relatively rare circumstances, those being charged with criminal offences will be provided with a Summons by the Police (Form 6). Similar to an Appearance Notice (Form 9) or an Undertaking (Form 10), a Summons legally obligates the accused to attend court (or have their lawyer do so on their behalf) and attend for fingerprinting and to have their photograph/mugshot taken at the police station.

Similar to a subpoena, a summons is a legal document that must be served personally on the accused. It must be authorized by either a Justice of the Peace or a Provincial Court Judge in Ontario. Failure to attend as directed by a Summons is a criminal offence (Fail to Comply) and those who do not attend will have a warrant issued for their arrest and face additional charges when they are later apprehended by the police.

Receiving a Summons is somewhat rare and is most often used in cases where the accused is not arrested at the scene and identified later by the police to be someone who does not reside in the jurisdiction

In cases of Theft Under $5000 and Fraud Under $5000 (both Shoplifting and non-Shoplifting), a Summons is relatively rare. It often is issued when the accused lives in a jurisidiction that is somewhat of a long distance from the jurisdiction in which the crime took place. For example, if someone is being charged by the Toronto Police Service for shoplifting in Toronto and they are not apprehended on scene and happen to live in Hamilton, the TPS would likely contact the Hamilton Police Service and have them serve the accused with a Summons rather than drive to Hamilton to serve them with an Appearance Notice or Undertaking themselves.

While in most shoplifting cases the arrest is made on scene, not all arrests unfold this way. Sometimes the loss prevention officers follow the accused to their car in the parking lot and obtain the licence plate number and report it to the police. Sometimes the accused is later identified by store security by their credit card, bank card, or other identifying information available to the store. CCTV video footage is often used to match the identity of the suspect to their driver's licence photos or images obtained through social media.

In these cases, the accused may later be identified as a resident of another Ontario jurisdiction, province, or country.

The police are less trusting that a phone call will be sufficient if the accused lives out of town and therefore may choose to have them served with a Summons by their local Police force instead

In most cases where the accused is not arrested at the scene for a non-violent theft or fraud case, the police will call them from an "Unknown" phone number and make arrangements for them to voluntarily surrender by attending at the police station. This is normally sufficient because most people would prefer to surrender voluntarily (and rather privately) than have the police show up at their home, place of employment, or another public place and publicly arrest them.

In cases where the accused lives further away, the police may not trust that such a phone call and invitation will be sufficient to have the accused comply with their request. They reason that the further away the accused's ties to the area are the less likely they will attend voluntarily. As such the charging Police force will simply contact the police force in the jurisdiction that the accused lives in and have them serve the accused with a Form 6 Summons.

Whether you receive a white or blue/green Form 9 Appearance Notice, a white Form 10 Undertaking, or a Form 6 Summons to Appear, you are being charged criminally for the offences listed on the form.

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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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  • Flat fee pricing
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  • 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
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  • Experienced, focused counsel