There are countless ways in which clients get charged with theft, fraud or robbery related charges. Theft charges can range for shoplifting a $5.00 item from a department store to stealing millions of dollars from one’s employer. Similarly, robberies can range from stealing someone’s iPod by using some force, to robbing a bank with a gun.
What is Theft?
When you take something from someone – without their permission – that is considered theft. Property that does not belong to you cannot be removed without permission from its owner. This applies to private citizens, as well as businesses. If you take an item from a store without purchasing it, that is considered shoplifting or theft. There are other types of theft, including theft from an employer, which is considered to be more serious than shoplifting. All of these instances are punishable in the court of law.
What is Fraud?
Fraud can generally be described as the wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. There are many different types of fraud ranging from falsifying invoices, failing to deliver a product or service, or identity theft and internet fraud.
What is the difference between Fraud and Theft?
The main difference between fraud and theft is that theft involves unlawfully taking something. In contrast fraud involves using deceit, lies or other types of dishonesty to con or trick a person or an organization into giving you a benefit that is not lawfully yours.
How does a breach of trust affect a fraud?
If a person is in a position earned because of trust such as an employee or manager and that person commits fraud in that position the law considers the fraud to be more serious. Jail sentences are a real possibility in situations like this even for minor frauds. The reason for this is because when someone is in a position of trust they have access to opportunities that the average person would not. As a result, offences that involve a breach of trust are taken very seriously. Examples of breaches of trust include:
- Defrauding family members within the home,
- Caretakers defrauding the people they care for,
- Employees in stores giving discounts to friends and family without permission
What is a robbery?
Robbery is taking or attempting to take something of value from another by violence or the threat of violence. Robbery can be committed against individuals, businesses, and institutions like banks. Threatening people on the streets with a baseball bat and demanding their money and jewellery is robbery, even if the person is not injured.
Each case must be assessed on its own merits. We carefully look at possible defences of identify or mistake of fact or alternate suspects. At times, our client may acknowledge the commission of the offence, and we would then attempt to mitigate the consequences by making restitution to the aggrieved party.
Some possible defenses your Lawyer can use include:
- Ownership of Property or Claim of Right – If you are able to establish that you are the rightful owner of the property, or that you had a valid claim to the property; this defense could apply to you.
- Intoxication – Being intoxicated at the time of the theft could be used as a defense if you are able to prove that you were intoxicated at that time. If you did not form the idea to steal with a clear mind, you could be considered under an intoxicated state.
- Entrapment – If you committed the crime, but you were induced to do so in order for a person, employer, or any other individual to prosecute you, entrapment could be used as your defense. You did not have the idea to steal, but you were lured into doing so by the party who is prosecuting you.
- Return of Property – Although returning the property does not provide a solid defense, it will have a significant positive impact on lessening your sentence.
- identify or
- mistake of fact or
- Alternate suspects.
- Non-Fraudulent Statement – Statements must relate to existing facts, not about promises to do something in the future. Mere expressions of opinion cannot be considered acts of fraud.
- Insufficient Evidence – The prosecution will have to prove fraud was actually committed. If they fail to do so, a jury will not be able to find you guilty without a reasonable doubt, or the judge may dismiss the case.
- Entrapment – If an innocent person was compelled to commit a crime, this is considered entrapment.
- Absence of Intent to Commit a Crime – The intent to deceive will have to be proven. A person who accidentally uses a friend’s insurance card is not the same as a person who intentionally used a friend’s insurance card