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Theft Under and Theft Over


A lot of young persons get charged with theft and brought to Youth Court. Don't be afraid to fight the charge with the help of a defence lawyer.

Theft is a criminal offence in Canada. The two most common theft criminal offences are "theft under" and "theft over". Over the years the value of property that defined theft under and theft over has changed as inflation has changed the Canadian economy. When reading old cases don't be surprised to read references to "theft under $50", "theft under $200",  or "theft under $1000" . The current criminal offences of theft under $5000 and theft over $5000 can be found in sections 332 and 334 of the Criminal Code of Canada. These substantive criminal law sections apply to both adults and young persons but the punishments are different.


There are many other criminal offences that resemble theft.



Criminal Code excerpts with adult punishments:


  •  (1) Every one commits theft who fraudulently and without colour of right takes, or fraudulently and without colour of right converts to his use or to the use of another person, anything, whether animate or inanimate, with intent

    • (a) to deprive, temporarily or absolutely, the owner of it, or a person who has a special property or interest in it, of the thing or of his property or interest in it;

    • (b) to pledge it or deposit it as security;

    • (c) to part with it under a condition with respect to its return that the person who parts with it may be unable to perform; or

    • (d) to deal with it in such a manner that it cannot be restored in the condition in which it was at the time it was taken or converted.

  • Marginal note:Time when theft completed

    (2) A person commits theft when, with intent to steal anything, he moves it or causes it to move or to be moved, or begins to cause it to become movable.

  • Marginal note:Secrecy

    (3) A taking or conversion of anything may be fraudulent notwithstanding that it is effected without secrecy or attempt at concealment.

  • Marginal note:Purpose of taking

    (4) For the purposes of this Act, the question whether anything that is converted is taken for the purpose of conversion, or whether it is, at the time it is converted, in the lawful possession of the person who converts it is not material.

  • Marginal note:Wild living creature

    (5) For the purposes of this section, a person who has a wild living creature in captivity shall be deemed to have a special property or interest in it while it is in captivity and after it has escaped from captivity.


  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 283.


Punishment for theft

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

  • (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, where the property stolen is a testamentary instrument or the value of what is stolen exceeds five thousand dollars; or

  • (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.


  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 334;

  •  R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 43;

  •  1994, c. 44, s. 20.

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