Defence For Charges Of Theft Or Robbery

Theft Lawyer

Theft and robbery both involve crimes against other people's property. When you come to Bernstein Law Group with a theft or robbery charge, our lawyers will discuss the particulars of your case, and then discuss your options.

Depending on your record and the evidence against you, your options may be very wide, or very limited.

It is imperative that you seek sound legal advice and hire an experienced criminal lawyer, and do so at the outset of your case. Our law firm has extensive experience when it comes to these charges.

We have the knowledge and skill to advocate your case and achieve the best result possible.

Theft charges can range from being not so serious, such as stealing a chocolate bar, to being taken various seriously by the Crown, for instance, if the accused is charged with stealing from their employer.

Theft: Over And Under $5,000

Theft is treated very differently depending on the value of the goods taken and the circumstances surrounding the allegations.

If the value is less than $5,000, it could be treated as a summary offense, and you may be able to avoid serious consequences.

If it's over $5,000, you could be looking at up to 10 years in prison.

If you are charged with a minor theft charge, theft of a motor vehicle, or a more serious crime, you need to consult an experienced law firm.

There may be a variety of ways to deal with your charge.

If a withdrawal is not attainable, it may make sense to resolve your case with a conditional discharge, which is not a registered conviction.

With that said, a conditional discharge is still a guilty plea, which is not ideal, especially if you have no criminal record, to begin with.

In that sense, if there is any way to avoid a criminal record, an experienced criminal lawyer will make that a top priority.

At the Bernstein Law Group, avoiding a criminal record is always our priority if the circumstances permit.

Even if there is solid evidence against you, if this is your first offense, you may be able to get into a diversion program in which the charges are withdrawn if you go through a theft prevention course.


In Canada, shoplifting, property crimes, property offenses, and other thefts are illegal and contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada, and if you are convicted, results in a criminal record.

While theft charges are not the most serious, any criminal charge can have a serious impact on your employment and ability to travel.

In that sense, you should hire a law firm with experienced criminal defense lawyers to defend you against these criminal charges.

Oftentimes, the Crown can be persuaded to withdraw these types of charges in certain situations and provided you do the necessary upfront work to position your case properly.

The Crown may also be persuaded to withdraw theft charges if there are triable issues and weaknesses in the prosecution's case.

Typically, on a first offense, the Crown is not looking for jail time with theft charges.

However, depending on the circumstances, it is possible that the Crown seeks jail, especially if it is not the first offense.

It is not uncommon for theft charges to also be accompanied by possession of stolen property charges or other related offenses.

Regardless of the number of charges, our office will work tirelessly to obtain acquittals at the resolution stage or set the matter for trial if we are instructed to do so.

A number of defenses could be pertinent to any case. For instance, the identity of the accused, continuity of the property, lacking the mental intent to commit the offense, or if you had the color of right to the property.

Every case is different, and it is the job of your lawyer to advocate for you and leave no stone unturned.


In Ontario, many people are charged with fraud in a number of different ways.

Sometimes fraud charges can take place in the course of one’s employment, and other times they may involve using bad checks, identity theft, credit card fraud, or scamming in some other way.

Fraud charges that involve the workplace are treated especially harshly because of the breach of trust.
If you or a loved one are charged with fraud, you need an experience fraud lawyer on your side.


Robbery is often theft with a weapon, though the weapon doesn't have to be a gun or knife.

It can be anything that can be used in a threatening manner.

It may involve no weapon at all for that matter, but is elevated from theft because of the intention to use force.

Robbery can include mandatory minimums in certain circumstances.

This means that the judge will not have a choice about sending you to prison if you are found guilty or plead guilty.

Often our approach focuses on getting the robbery charge removed so that your charge can be treated as theft and give us more flexibility.

Whether we can do this will often depend on the allegations.

If there are triable issues, it may be able to avoid a conviction, and that would be our goal if the facts and circumstances of your case allow for it.

Penalties range for accused convicted of robbery, and it depends on a number of factors. For instance, first-time offenders will most likely be given a break.

It does not bode well with the courts to be charged with the same offense twice.

Penalties can range anywhere from a conditional discharge, to house arrest or jail time.

Robbery charges can sometimes include threats and violence, which makes a jail sentence more likely.

Regardless of the circumstances, you need strong legal representation to protect your best interests.

The Circumstances Of Your Arrest

Often your case will depend on how the police acted during the investigation and arrest.

Even if the evidence is strong, if it was obtained improperly, it likely cannot be used against you.

Evidence against you may include:

Witness statements: Eyewitnesses do not always remember events accurately, especially if the events happen very quickly.

Your own statements: Even if you have given incriminating statements, they cannot be used against you if they were obtained improperly.

Property: There may be a number of reasons why you have a certain property in your possession.

Surveillance footage: This can sometimes be favorable to your case — but if it isn't, we may still be able to find ways to make it less incriminating

We will let you know the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

If your best alternative is to plead guilty, we will find a way to protect you from excessive negative consequences.

Our priority is your best interests, and if we think we can avoid a criminal conviction for you, then that is what we will fight for.

If the Crown prosecutor is not offering a reasonable resolution, then the trial may be your best option.

Contact Bernstein Law Group

Our law office has represented hundreds if not thousands of clients charged with theft, robbery, fraud charges, and other criminal offenses in Ontario.

We represent clients in Hamilton, Toronto, Brantford, Burlington, Milton, and the surrounding area.

If you are charged with theft, robbery, fraud, or a related offense, contact our office for a free consultation.

Our experienced lawyers love what we do. We work tirelessly to achieve the best results possible.

Call us at 905-546-1990 or email us if you have been charged with theft or robbery in Hamilton or surrounding areas.

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Bernstein Law Group



250 James St S, Hamilton, ON L8P 3B3


Our legal team provides services in all languages throughout Ontario.  Our Hamilton criminal defence lawyers specialize in drug offences,  sexual assault, impaired driving, weapons offences, and youth offences.