How can I get my theft or fraud charges dropped?

>>, Theft>How can I get my theft or fraud charges dropped?

If you have been charged with theft or fraud under $5000.00 and this is your first or second offence, you may still be able to secure a pre-trial resolution that will result in your charges being dropped. Specifically, if you are a first time offender charged with theft or fraud under $5000.00, there is a chance that you could be eligible for a diversion program that will allow you to avoid a criminal record.

One of the most common ways to divert theft or fraud charges is through the alternative measures program. If you are accepted to the alternative measures program, you will likely be required to pay restitution to the victim of your crime, and will likely need to do some amount of community service or complete other conditions stipulated by the program. However, once you have successfully completed the program, the Crown Prosecutor will withdraw your charges and you will not receive a criminal record.

If you cannot divert your theft or fraud charges, the next best way to avoid a criminal record would be to apply for a discharge. Discharges can be either absolute or conditional, and both will allow you to escape criminal conviction. If you are granted a conditional discharge, you will have to abide by a set of conditions that are agreed to in court, and these conditions will remain in place for a set period of time. If you do not breach the terms of the order, once that period of time has elapsed you will be permanently discharged from your offence. If you receive an absolute discharge, you will be able to walk away from the court the same day with no criminal conviction, and no need to comply with court-mandated conditions. However, it should be noted that absolute discharges are only granted in extremely rare circumstances.

If it turns out that you are not a good candidate for a discharge, you can then look at minimally restrictive sentencing options such as a conviction and fine alone, or a conviction with a fine and probation. Should you be facing a period of incarceration, your lawyer can negotiate with the Crown on your behalf prior to sentencing (and ideally prior to trial), about making a joint recommendation for a suspended sentence instead of time spent in jail. A suspended sentence will require that you adhere to strict bail conditions, however, you will be able to remain out of custody so long as you do not breach the terms of your order.

No matter your circumstances, in order to facilitate a favourable pre-trial resolution you should immediately strive to pay restitution to the victim of your crime, consider writing an apology letter, and seek out counselling or do some community service. Both theft and fraud charges are taken very seriously in Canada, as such, if you are able to show that you are remorseful about your actions and you have incentive to right your wrongs, you will be in a better position to negotiate a favourable resolution or sentencing submission with the Crown.

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All our 30-60 minute free consultations are conducted with one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers and include the following steps:

  1. Gathering of some personal information about you, such as your level of education, occupation, and citizenship status. This information can be crucial for building your defence and seeking a resolution with the Crown Prosecutor;
  2. Careful review of all documents you received from the police. We will explain what each document is, and what you can expect from and need to do for all upcoming appearances;
  3. Critical review of your recollection of events, and any supporting materials you choose to bring with you. This step helps us identify possible defences and avenues for further investigation; and
  4. Discussion of the court process, our fee structure, and what we can do to help.

Beyond these steps, we would be happy to tell you more about us, and answer any questions you may have. If you chose to retain us to help you, we will immediately provide an overview of what steps we plan to take next, and suggestions as to what you should do to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

For the free initial consultation to be as productive as possible, you should bring (or email in advance) the following materials:

  • A written statement (preferably typed) outlining your version of events;
  • All documents that you have been given by the court or by the police;
  • Any disclosure you have received;
  • Photo ID; and
  • Any supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, texts, phone records, medical records, receipts, etc.

Ideally, you will have prepared a copy of these materials for us to keep, but if not, we can always photocopy them during the consultation.

We offer flexible payment options and structures designed to meet our clients’ individual needs. Our lawyers accept all major credit cards, bank drafts, money orders, email money transfers (e-transfers) and, of course, cash.

If you decide to retain us after the free initial consultation, all we need is a retainer (down payment) to get started. The rest of the fee payments for the case can be spaced out over time. We can set you up on a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, and process payments over the telephone or by email to make it easy for you.

The cost of a criminal defence lawyer will depend on several factors, including:

  1. how complex your case is,
  2. how serious the charges are, and
  3. how experienced the Criminal Defence lawyer is.

The fees of a competent Criminal Defence Lawyer will typically range into the thousands of dollars. The good news is that only a fraction of that amount is due initially. We offer flexible payment schedules so thefees can be paid in monthly installments.

Additionally, we offer flat rate fees, with no hidden costs. It is our standard practice to review all the costs during the free initial consultation. This means you will know exactly what our services cost at the outset and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.