Theft is a serious criminal offence in Ontario, and the maximum penalty for theft depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the value of the property stolen. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, theft is divided into two categories: theft under $5,000, which is considered a summary conviction offence, and theft over $5,000, which is considered an indictable offence.
For theft under $5,000, the maximum penalty is six months in jail and/or a fine. However, it is worth noting that for most summary conviction offences, the sentences usually don’t exceed 90 days and are served intermittently or on weekends. In addition, first-time offenders may be eligible for alternative measures such as a conditional sentence, community service, restitution, or probation.
For theft over $5,000, the maximum penalty is 10 years in jail. However, the actual sentence will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the offender’s criminal history. For example, if the offender has a prior criminal record or if the theft was committed in an aggressive or violent manner, the sentence may be harsher.
It’s also worth noting that in addition to the penalties listed above, a conviction for theft can also have collateral consequences such as difficulty finding employment, immigration issues, and social stigma.
In summary, the maximum penalty for theft in Ontario varies depending on the value of the property stolen. For theft under $5,000, the maximum penalty is six months in jail and/or a fine, while for theft over $5,000, the maximum penalty is 10 years in jail. The actual sentence will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the offender’s criminal history. Alternative measures may also be considered for first-time offenders.
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Stacey is a student at De Boyrie Law. She is currently studying to complete the BAR and is expected to join our firm once she has completed studies.