What Are The Potential Defences For Theft?

  • Factual Innocence: If the Crown is unable to prove the essential elements of the particular offence beyond a reasonable doubt, they will have failed to discharge their burden, and the accused will be acquitted.
  • Colour of Right: Where the proper in question belongs to the accused, this is a defence to the charge.
  • Honest but Mistaken Belief: Where the accused honestly but mistakenly believed the property in question was his (i.e. he was given it or had permission to have it), the defence of Honest but Mistaken Belief may be available.
  • Violation of Charter Rights: Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, individuals are afforded specific rights, including:
    • the right against unreasonable search and seizure;
    • the right to not be arbitrarily detained;
    • the right to be informed promptly of the reasons for arrest;
    • the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay; and
    • the right to be tried within a reasonable time.

A successful Charter challenge may also result in a stay of proceedings, or evidence from your case being excluded


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