Theft Vs. Robbery: Understanding The Legal Distinctions And Consequences In Edmonton

June 16, 2023


When it comes to criminal charges, such as theft and robbery, having a firm grasp of the legal framework is essential for navigating the complexities of the justice system. As criminal defence lawyers in Edmonton, we recognize the significance of empowering our clients with knowledge and insights into the legal landscape specific to their circumstances.

Theft and robbery are serious criminal offences under Canadian law. While they may share similarities, there are fundamental distinctions that set them apart. By gaining a clear understanding of these distinctions, individuals can navigate the legal landscape more effectively and make informed decisions with the guidance of a trusted criminal defence lawyer.

In this blog post, we will delve into the nuances of theft and robbery offences in Edmonton, shedding light on the key differences and the impact they can have on individuals facing such charges.

Theft: Understanding The Basics

Theft, as defined in Section 322 of the Criminal Code of Canada, is the act of fraudulently and without colour of right taking, or fraudulently converting to oneself or to another person, anything, whether animate or inanimate, with the intent to deprive, temporarily or absolutely, the owner of it or a person who has a special property or interest in it.

In simpler terms, theft involves unlawfully taking or converting someone else’s property without permission.

Theft can manifest in various forms, such as shoplifting, stealing personal belongings, or embezzlement. The intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the rightful owner of their property is a crucial element in establishing the offence of theft under Canadian law.

In Edmonton, theft can be classified as either a summary conviction or an indictable offence, depending on the value of the stolen property. If the value does not exceed $5,000, the offence is considered a summary conviction, which typically carries less severe penalties.

However, if the value exceeds $5,000, the theft is treated as an indictable offence, which can lead to harsher consequences upon conviction.

Robbery: The Use Of Force Or Violence

Robbery, although similar to theft, involves an additional element: the use or threat of violence or force. As outlined in Section 343 of the Criminal Code, a robbery occurs when theft is accompanied by:

  • the use of force
  • the threat of force
  • intimidation

The presence of violence or the fear of violence distinguishes robbery from theft and significantly increases the severity of the offence.

The Criminal Code of Canada identifies several factors that contribute to the categorization of a robbery offence. These factors include;

  • the use of weapons
  • the level of violence employed
  • and the level of planning or sophistication involved

The penalties for robbery in Edmonton are more severe than those for theft due to the higher degree of harm caused to the victim.

Legal Consequences Of Theft And Robbery In Edmonton

In Edmonton, the legal consequences for theft and robbery can vary based on the circumstances of the case, the value of the stolen property, and the presence of aggravating factors. Both offences can result in significant penalties, including fines, probation, community service, and incarceration.

It is essential to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defence lawyer in Edmonton to navigate the complexities of the legal system and build a strong defence.

For theft offences classified as summary convictions (property valued up to $5,000), the maximum penalty is a $5,000 fine and/or six months of imprisonment. In the case of indictable theft offences (property valued over $5,000), the penalties upon conviction can include fines and incarceration for up to 10 years.

Robbery offences carry more severe penalties due to the presence of force or violence. If convicted of robbery, the penalties range from a minimum of four years imprisonment to life imprisonment, depending on the circumstances. The court takes into consideration factors such as the level of violence used, the use of weapons, and any injuries sustained by the victim during the commission of the offence.

Seeking Legal Representation

If you or someone you know is facing charges related to theft or robbery in Edmonton, it is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable criminal defence lawyer. Navigating the legal system can be complex and overwhelming, especially when facing serious criminal charges.

At Slaferek Law, we have a proven track record of successfully defending clients in Edmonton, Alberta. Our team of experienced criminal defence lawyers understands the intricacies of the law and will diligently work to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

About Slaferek Law

Slaferek Law is a reputable criminal defence law firm based in Edmonton, Alberta. With a strong focus on criminal defence, our dedicated team of lawyers has a deep understanding of the Canadian legal system and the complexities associated with criminal charges.

We provide strong and effective representation for clients facing a wide range of criminal offences, including theft and robbery. At Slaferek Law, we are committed to protecting the rights and interests of our clients and providing them with the expert legal guidance they need during challenging times.

Contact Slaferek Law today for a confidential consultation, and let us advocate for you with professionalism and expertise.

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Contacting Darin H. Slaferek

We specialize in criminal law, delivering ethical, effective, and efficient legal solutions that prioritize the best interests of our clients.