Fraud Under 5000 Dollars

Fraud Under $5000: Your Future & Defending Your Rights

Shoplifting & Fraud Under $5000

Fraud under $5000 is a criminal offence in Canada that can lead to serious consequences. This charge can be brought against individuals for many different types of fraudulent activities, such as intentional price manipulation or fraudulent means of taking property.

What is Fraud Under $5000?

Under the Criminal Code of Canada s. 380(1)(b) fraud under $5000 is committed when an individual uses deceit, falsehood, or other fraudulent means to defraud the public or any person of any property, money, valuable security, or any service, and the value of the subject-matter of the offence does not exceed $5000.

Fraud charges related to shoplifting often involve premeditated planning and deception. Intentional price manipulation will considered an aggravating factor. Shoppers facing fraud charges may be alleged to have switched a price tag, placed a discount label or sign on an item that is not discounted, or provided inaccurate or manipulated receipts in an effort to defraud the store.

Penalty for Fraud Under $5000?

The penalty for fraud under $5000 will depend on the seriousness of the allegation and the background of the accused.

First time offenders need to be concerned about any conviction that will result in a criminal record.  A record for fraud can affect employment, immigration, citizenship and travel out of the country.

Where the Crown elects to proceed summarily, a maximum jail sentence of six months is possible but rarely happens. If preceded by way of indictment, a conviction for fraud could result in a prison term of up to two years. Most minor offences will result in a fine, restitution or community service work.

The Crown attorney may seek a jail sentence even if the individual has no prior criminal record.  This can happen where the fraud relates to employee theft or involves allegations of reselling items or repeated instances.

Employee Theft

Shoplifting & Breach of Trust

Fraud under $5000 | Image of a price tag that had been altered

Employer-employee fraud occurs where an employee in a trusted position, uses that trust to steal from the employer.

The main difference is that the fraud takes place in a manner referred to as a breach of trust, and against a specific party—the employer. Fraud against an employer is a more serious offence than traditional fraud because the breach of a trust between employer-employee is considered a serious issue.  In these type of cases many Crown Attorney’s will be considering that the accused should be sent to jail.

In a case of employee theft of fraud, the prosecution needs to prove:

  • There was a dishonest act, established by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means,
  • That defrauded the employer or owner of any property, money or valuable security or any services,
  • The accused was aware he or she was engaging in a dishonest act,

In most cases involving frauds or employee theft, the prosecution would have to prove intent, or that the accused had knowledge of the falsehoods.

Steps to Protect Your Future

Being charged with a fraud is a serious issue. Take the steps to protect your future to avoid the debilitating consequences of a criminal record.

As criminal lawyers we see unrepresented people leave court with criminal records, that could have been avoided.  Persons who appear unrepresented put themselves and family at jeopardy.

The crown attorney is to prosecute criminal matters brought before them by the police.  The crown attorney is not at court to help you, give you advice or assistance. Nor, is it the crown attorney’s job to worry about whether you receive a criminal record or not.

When charged with Fraud under $5000 and any criminal offence, speak to one of our criminal defence lawyers. We provide quality legal defence at an affordable price, ensuring that you’re properly defended.

As lawyers we have one goal, to drop your fraud charge without the record.  Give us a call today, let’s discuss your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my friend appear in court for me?

No.  The release form that you agreed to requires that you appear in court, not a friend or relative.

Where the accused does not attend the court will issue a “Bench Warrant” for your arrest.  The bench warrant directs the police to apprehend you, take you to a police station and bring you before a judge forthwith.  Where there is no sitting court, persons arrested on warrants are held in custody (jail) until the next court sitting.

The police “may” release you on a summons to appear, which is again another notice requiring a court appearance.  Whether you are released at the police station will depend upon the discretion of the “officer in charge” and the circumstances of why you failed to appear in court.

The officers responding to the warrant for your arrest may also add an additional charge of “Failing to Appear for Court” which is dramatically worse than any shoplifting allegation.

I missed the court date. What should I do?

The notice that the police officer gave you is a commandment to appear in court.  The officer asked that you promise to appear and you agreed.

Where you do not appear in court, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest.

Where you realise that you have missed the court date either by error or otherwise we recommend that you appear at the police station where you were charged from.  Once there you surrender yourself to the officers and explain to them that you have missed a court date.

The officers will “re-arrest” for the offence of Fail to Appear under the Criminal Code of Canada.  The will take you into custody, process you and then bring you before a judge.  Depending upon the circumstances the judge will release you on a second promise to appear for court, or hold you in custody pending trial.

Where a person does not surrender themselves, the warrant is issued for across Canada to all security services and border officers and stays in effect under the accused is apprehended..

What determines what penalty I receive for shoplifting?

Once your case appears before a crown attorney they will review the case and the police officers disclosure (officer’s notes) about what happened.

The crown attorney in reviewing your case will look at many factors including:

  • What was taken and value
  • Who took it and why,
    • was it a simple mistake or was it planned
  • What happened during & after arrest
  • The background of the accused,
    • do they have previous convictions or warnings
    • age, financial background, what you do, do you do any volunteer work
    • what is your position in the community

The background of the accused, what happened and what was taken.  All of these factors will be reviewed by the crown prior to any discussion about the charges and any penalty for shoplifting.

The security was rough and abusive, can I complain?

Yes you can complain, and it may help your case, but you need to review these issues with our lawyers.

Although you can walk into the court and say the officer was rough with you, it won’t carry much weight with the judge.  In that situation, the judge may state that the officers actions are not the issue. Any complaint about officers should be taken up with the police or security management, not the court system.

The better time to discuss this is, having our shoplifting lawyers set up a pre-trial meeting with the crown attorney to discuss these issues together with the discussion about the charges, and your good character.  During this process, where the actions of the police and security may have been aggressive, it can help in negotiations to have your charges dismissed and dropped.

Discuss your case with a lawyer | Call today

Being charged with a fraud under $500 is stressful, but you don’t have to face it alone. Call and speak with a shoplifting lawyer and learn how we can help you. We provide effective and affordable legal representation for all individuals facing these charges throughout Ontario.

Work with a lawyer experienced with fraud under $500 and shoplifting charges. Invest in your future by keeping your record clear. Yes you might be able to appear by yourself, but if something goes wrong, then what? Call today and let’s just talk about it.

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