Canadian Criminal Sentencing/Offences/Theft Under $5,000

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s. 322 of the Crim. Code
Election / Plea
Crown ElectionHybrid (Under)
Indictable (Over)
Summary Dispositions
Maximum6 months jail or $5,000 fine (<=$5,000)
Indictable Dispositions
Maximum10 years (over $5,000)
2 years (<= $5,000)
Offence Elements
Sentence Principles
Sentence Digests

Legislation[edit | edit source]

334. Except where otherwise provided by law, every one who commits theft

(b) is guilty
(i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
(ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction,

where the value of what is stolen does not exceed five thousand dollars.


Principles[edit | edit source]

A common offence in most provincial courts. The range of sentences for low end offences range from discharges for first time offenders, fines ($100 to 400), suspended sentence with probation, or short and sharp periods of imprisonment where there is a prior related criminal record.[1]

  1. e.g. see R. v. Prowse 1998 CanLII 18024 (NL CA), (1998)
    R. v. C.C., [2012] N.J. No. 121 (P.C.)
    R. v. Reid, [2012] N.J. No. 164 (P.C.)

Employee Theft[edit | edit source]

The goals of denunciation and deterrence require that absent exceptional circumstances, the sentence should include imprisonment. [1]

  1. R v Fulcher, 2007 ABCA 381 at para 30 ("[A]bsent truly exceptional circumstances, the sentencing goals of deterrence and denunciation demand a sentence of imprisonment rather than the imposition of a conditional sentence for crimes of embezzlement or theft by an employee.")

Factors[edit | edit source]

Aggravating Factors

  • criminal record for similar offences
  • breach of trust
  • lack of recovery of items
  • inability to compensate owner

Other Factors

  • history of alcohol or substance abuse

See Also[edit | edit source]