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Shoplifting - Kruse Law

Handling a Bad Mistake

If you decide to shoplift, whatever you take is likely worth nowhere near the potential penalties associated with getting caught and charged. Around 50,000 people are charged with shoplifting in Canada every year – many of them caught taking items like clothes, jewelry, perfumes, alcohol, and food. Most people caught in the middle of this offence are in larger department stores that have invested in security. With such a potentially stressful experience associated with shoplifting charges – including the possibility of conviction, a criminal record, damage to your reputation and even jail time – you want to have experienced criminal defence lawyers in your corner to combat the charges.

How Do Shoplifting Charges Work?

In Canada, shoplifting often falls under the “Theft Under $5,000” Canadian Criminal Code offence. Items you haven’t paid for that are concealed on your person – in your pockets, purses, or under your clothes, for example – may fall under this charge.  Most retail outlets require that the shoplifter leave the store in order to prove the “intent to deprive” required by the Criminal Code for a prosecution, but you can be charged with shoplifting even if you haven’t left the store – a rarity, but such cases do occur and have been successfully prosecuted.

Once the police have apprehended you on suspicion of shoplifting, it is only a matter of time before charges will be filed. Some believe that a shoplifting charge may be avoided if it can be proven that the arresting officer did not follow proper store policy or procedure, but this is assuredly not the case, as the Criminal Code does not specify that items must leave the location before the offence is solidified.

If you are facing a shoplifting charge, you do not want to face it on your own. Even the most informed citizens are ill advised to undertake their own legal defence, particularly in criminal matters. A lawyer with training and experience in this area will be able to properly represent you in court, challenge evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and generally make sure that your legal rights are protected. In many cases, particularly for first-time offenders, charges may be reduced or even dismissed if your case is properly handled. If you already have a criminal record – especially related to shoplifting – it may be more difficult to secure an acquittal, making the retention of a legal representative all the more imperative.

The Kruse Law Firm – Experienced Ontario Criminal and DUI Defence Lawyers

Based in Ontario, the Kruse Law Firm has been providing top tier criminal legal defence for the last 20 years, specializing in criminal law defence but widely acknowledged as one of the leaders in DUI defence strategies.  “Tell us your side – we’ll handle it” is the mantra by which Michael Kruse and his team of legal professionals operate, wanting each of their clients to rest assured that their case is in the best possible hands, and knowing that they will be properly represented when their day in court arrives. Michael Kruse has earned a reputation within the legal community for passion, commitment, and expertise across all areas of criminal law. Call (519) 744-0973 or send an e-mail to for a free, no-obligation consultation.