Home  |  FAQ  |  Terms  |  About  |  Learn  |  Contact    

Toronto Shoplifting and Theft Under $5000 Charges Lawyer

What to do if caught: The top 10 most important things you should do if you get caught shoplifting (theft under $5000)

Once you are caught shoplifting, how you react both at the scene and immediately afterwards is critical in reducing the potential consequences that can impact your employment, immigration, and travel forever. Here are the 10 most important things you should do if you get caught shoplifting.
  1. Be polite, respectful and cooperative with store security and the police. If you act belligerent, aggressive or difficult to get along with it will only make things worse. The police will make a note of your poor behaviour and it will be used against you when the case goes to court.

  2. Do not try to run away, drive away, or physically escape the custody of store security. Sometimes people are asked to stop in the parking lot and they disobey by getting in their car and driving away (only to be arrested later). Other times people will run away or physically push the store security off of them. Such reactions will lead to additional charges of escape lawful custody or the even worse charge of assault/resisting arrest.

  3. Exercise your right to remain silent. If you are arrested, respectfully decline to answer questions about anything other than your identity. You should not admit or confess to any crime. Some individuals will confess to past thefts making their case even worse. Be polite and respectful but do not incriminate yourself.

  4. Be honest in identifying yourself to store security and the police. When you are put under arrest by security which is later continued by the police part of the process involves determining your identity. The police will not release you from the scene unless they are satisfied with your identity (normally by presenting an Ontario driver’s license or other ID). Some individuals will lie to the police about their name, date of birth, address, etc. This can range from giving a completely fake name to intentionally misspelling their real name. If you mislead or lie to the police you may also be charged with obstruction of justice and may be held for bail.

  5. Determine whether you have been criminally charged or not. Sometimes people are lucky and are let go with just a warning. If you received a Form 9 Appearance Notice or a Form 10 Undertaking you have been charged. These documents will have both a date for fingerprinting/mugshot and a court date. As of 2022 the Form 9 is often printed on a white piece of paper but also may be on a small blue/green form (which looks more like a ticket). The Form 10 Undertaking is always white. Either way, if you have been given a fingerprint date and a court date you are being criminally charged.

  6. Determine whether you have been trespassed by the store and the mall the store resides in. Currently the Toronto Eaton Center, Yorkdale, Fairview, Vaughan Mills, Square One, and Scarborough Town Center all have a policy that if you are caught in one of their stores they ban you from the whole mall for 1 year. Security will usually give you a small yellow piece of paper conveying this information to the accused.

  7. Consider who if anyone you want to tell about the offence. Approximately 50% of people choose not to discuss the case with anyone other than their lawyer. These people may have a spouse, family member, roommate etc. that they do not want to tell. Be aware that some stores send demand letters in the physical mail asking for money after the incident and sometimes the spouse/etc. unintentionally finds out because they find it in the mail.

  8. You next need to determine how being criminally charged may impact your current and future employment plans. Are you currently looking for a job or plan to apply for a job that requires a criminal background check? What type of background checks do you anticipate you will have to do in the future? Do you work or are planning to work in the vulnerable sector (with children, the elderly, mentally disabled, etc.)? Do you work in a regulated profession governed by a regulatory body with specific rules regarding charges? What is the HR policy at your employer, etc.

  9. Examine how being charged may impact any existing or future applications to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Are you a tourist, student, on a work permit (or planning to apply for one), have PR status or about to apply for it? Each category has different criteria and it is important that you take steps right away to do everything you can to avoid potential problems.

  10. Do you plan to travel to the United States and other countries in the future? If so, it is important that you proactively do everything you can to avoid being denied entry and red flagged by U.S. Customs. Once you are refused entry it is often too late and you may find yourself forever regretting not more closely looking into this issue beforehand.
Many people find themselves facing lifelong problems that could have been avoided if they received proper legal representation from the beginning. Please see our page on selecting and hiring a lawyer here or call us today for a free consultation by a lawyer.

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.


Prefer to reach us via email?
Fill out the below form:

Name (required):


Email (required):



Case Details (required):

  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