Possession of Stolen Property

Representation for Possession of Stolen Property Cases

Possession of Stolen Property & Shoplifting

Possession of stolen property is a criminal offence in Canada that can result in serious consequences for those who are charged and found guilt.

It is a charge that is often associated with theft charges & shoplifting and can be classified as either a summary or indictable offence, depending on the circumstances.

Possession of Property Obtained by Crime: Defined

Possession of property obtained by crime | Criminal Code of Canada S.354:

  • Everyone commits an offence who has in his possession any property or thing or any proceeds of any property or thing knowing that all or part of the property or thing or of the proceeds was obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from
    • the commission in Canada of an offence punishable by indictment; or
    • an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence punishable by indictment.

To prove that a person is guilty of possession of stolen property, the prosecution must demonstrate that the accused knowingly possessed or obtained the property in question, and that they knew or had reason to believe that the property was stolen or fraudulently obtained.

It is not enough for the prosecution to simply prove that the accused had possession of the property.  In prosecuting possession of stolen property cases there should be some knowledge or intent to commit the offence.

Penalties - Possession of Stolen Property

Convictions for possession of stolen property can negatively impact a person’s ability to find employment, professional licenses and travel. Jail time and fines are also potential consequences of a conviction.

In Canada, possession of stolen property can be classified as either a summary or indictable offence, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Summary offences: Are considered minor offences, where the circumstances although criminal are minor, like the theft of a small low value item.

Indictable offences: Indictable offences are more serious matters where there is a history of criminal behaviour or the circumstances or value of the stolen items is high.

The maximum penalty for possession of stolen property under $5,000 is 2 years in jail if it is tried as an indictable offence, or a fine of up to $5,000 and/or 6 months in jail if it is tried as a summary offence.

Possession Charges Increase Your Risk

Shoplifting Lawyer -How a criminal record affects you

Don't appear alone - Protect your future

Each jurisdiction, area or police force can have different procedures or rules as to how the police officers deal with shoplifting, theft under $5000 and possession of stolen property.  Some police forces many just issue one charge, whilst others add all charges.

Where a charge of possession of stolen property is laid with the theft under/shoplifting charges.  The offences are all written on the same “Form 9 release” document with any other charges.

The form 9 requires the accused to appear in court on both of the charges at the same time and place.  Including the demand to appear for fingerprints and photographs.

Where a charge of possession of stolen property is laid, this would be in addition to the shoplifting charges and creates a second different criminal offence. The second charge creates an additional issue to removing any penalty and compounds the effects of a record.

Where 2 charges have been laid by the police, we advise clients that the police are taking a harder than normal approach to their case. In these circumstances we highly recommend the services of our lawyers experienced in theft allegations to avoid the penalties including a criminal record.

Criminal Records

Being charged with a possession of stolen property is a serious issue, even when the value of the property is small.  Take the steps to protect your future to avoid the debilitating penalties & consequences of a criminal record.

As 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 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 record or not.

When when charged with any criminal offence, speak to one of our defence lawyers. Find out that Ontario Shoplifting Lawyers provides quality legal defence that will help you at an affordable one time fee.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the potential consequences if I'm found guilty of possession of stolen property?

If convicted, you could face up to 10 years in prison for an indictable offense or up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for a summary offense.

In most cases, first time offenders do not go to jail.

The actual sentence depends on various factors such as the value of the stolen property and your prior criminal history. As your lawyers, we wound analyze your case and develop the best defense strategy to minimize the charges or achieve an acquittal.

What evidence do the police need to charge me with possession of stolen property

If you are charged with possession of stolen property in Canada, you should seek the advice of a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal lawyer can explain the charges against you and the potential consequences, including the possibility of imprisonment, fines, and a criminal record. They can also discuss potential defences and strategies for fighting the charges.

Our lawyers will review all of the evidence against you, including any witness statements, surveillance footage, or physical evidence. In a case of possession of stolen property the prosecution need to prove:

  • the item was stolen
  • the accused knew it was stolen, and
  • the accused had possession of the stolen item

Our shoplifting lawyers will work to identify weaknesses in the Crown’s case and build a strong defence on your behalf. In some cases, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the Crown, which could result in reduced charges without a criminal record.  Call us today, speak to our shoplifting lawyers and we’ll show you how we can have your charges dropped.

Will a charge of possession of stolen property show up on a criminal record?

Yes, a charge of possession of stolen property will show up on a criminal record if you are found guilty or plead guilty to the charge.

A criminal record is a permanent record of all criminal charges and convictions, and it can have serious consequences for your future, including difficulties in obtaining employment, housing, and other opportunities.

It is important to note that even if you are not convicted of the charge, the fact that you were charged will still show up on certain types of background checks. However, our shoplifting lawyers may be able to help you explore options for having the charge withdrawn or dismissed, which could potentially prevent it from appearing on your criminal record.

It is always best to consult with a lawyer to discuss your options and potential outcomes.

Will I be treated harsher because of the possession of stolen property charge?

It is possible for a person charged with both shoplifting and possession of stolen property to receive a harsher penalty compared to someone charged with just theft under $5000.

This is because the possession charge may indicate that the individual not only committed the initial act of theft but also knowingly possessed the stolen property, which can be seen as an aggravating factor in the eyes of the court. Or that the police believe that the matter was more than just a simple mistake or error on the part of the accused.

The sentencing for each charge will depend on various factors, such as the specific circumstances of the case, any previous criminal record, and the severity of the offence.

Call and speak to our lawyers, and we’ll give you advice and our option about how we can have your charges dropped.

Discuss your case with a shoplifting lawyer | Call today

Being charged with Possession of Stolen Property is stressful, but you don’t have to face it alone. Call and speak with a 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 Possession of Stolen Property 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.

Scroll to Top
Call Now 647-875-6305