Experienced Property Offences Lawyer in Toronto
If you have been charged with a property offence in Toronto, you need the advice of an experienced property crime lawyer as early as possible in your case.
Speak to your lawyer before you speak to the police, if possible, as that may prevent you from saying anything that can be used as evidence against you.
Property offences in Toronto may have serious consequences, whether theft, arson, criminal damage to property or other crime. A conviction may mean a lifelong criminal record.
As soon as you are arrested and charged, the prosecution will be building a case against you according to specific guidelines. However, that does not mean you are guilty.
If you start building a strong defence with an experienced property crime lawyer, you have the best possible chance of case dismissal or acquittal at trial.
Whether you are a first offender or have previous convictions, Jeffrey I Reisman Criminal Defence Lawyer can assist you in navigating the often confusing and stressful legal system.
What defines a property offence crime in Ontario?
Property offences are a broad classification of crime, as set out in the Criminal Code of Canada.
In general, they involve the taking of property from another person by an individual with no legal claim to the property - with the sole intention of depriving them of using it.
Further subdivisions break property offences down according to:
- If there was force or the threat of force used
- Whether the property was stolen, destroyed, or damaged
- Whether money was involved
Types of property-related offences
The following are all classified as property offences in Toronto:
- Robbery (armed or not)
- Breaking & entering
- Possession of burglary tools
- Being unlawfully in a dwelling
- Trespassing at night
- Forcible entry
Some of the above offences are more serious than others and this is reflected in the punishments associated with each.
Theft and property-related offences
Theft is the most common property offence in Toronto.
When gauging the seriousness of the crime, theft is broken down into two categories:
- Theft under $5,000 – the most common type of theft, usually including shoplifting and other “petty” crimes
- Theft over $5,000 – more serious, especially if it involves theft from an employer (a jail sentence is more likely in these cases)
Fraud is another related offence. This is where deceit, deception or dishonesty are related to the crime.
Again, one of the most common types of fraud is against an employer but another example is credit card fraud.
Breaking and entering property-related offences
Breaking and entering, forcible entry, and robbery are all property-related crimes where the use of force is usually involved.
However, to be charged with breaking and entering, you do not need to force entry or damage any property.
In Toronto, you can even be charged if you are found with tools that can be used for burglary.
Arson, vandalism & property-related offences
There is a range of property-related offences that involve wilful damage to property. These include arson, vandalism, and mischief.
Most people know what arson and vandalism are.
Criminal mischief is another serious offence that involves the willful or reckless destruction of (or interference with) another person’s property.
Consequences of property crimes
Most property crimes you have read about above are serious crimes that can result in a lifelong criminal record, fines, probation, and even a prison sentence.
Some property crimes are indictable offences and, with aggravating circumstances, may even have mandatory sentences.
Lesser offences like shoplifting and vandalism might be treated as summary offences and not result in jail time but a conviction still means that you will have a criminal record.
This can affect future employment prospects, travel, and immigration status (for non-Canadians) as well as damaging your reputation.
Hire a Toronto property crime lawyer
Your defence will depend on the circumstances of your alleged offence, the arrest, and the charge or charges against you.
The prosecution sometimes seeks multiple offences and sometimes the property offence is combined with other criminal charges, especially if force was used against somebody during the alleged crime.
As an experienced property crime lawyer in Toronto, Jeffrey Reisman will examine the circumstances of the alleged crime, the police conduct during the investigation, and the evidence against you.
If there are weaknesses in the case - for example, evidence was obtained in the wrong way or there was a misunderstanding about your intention to commit a crime – the case can be dismissed.
If you have to go to trial, Jeffrey Reisman will defend you in court with a powerful defence that seeks acquittal or mitigation of the penalties against you. Contact Jeffrey I. Reisman any time of the week or day directly at 647.351.HELP or 647.351.4357