Theft Charges Busy Already Burdened Court System

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Author: Kevin Douglas

Particularly high rates of theft in Canada embolden law enforcement officials to make arrests to combat threat levels and ultimately strain an already overburdened justice system.

Studies show that Canada has the fourth highest rate of vehicle theft in the world. Within Canada, a higher volume of cars is stolen in the western provinces and territories. Figures show that in 2010, 31,122 vehicles were stolen in Alberta. More than 8,550 were stolen in Edmonton and 7,545 in Calgary.

Such thefts are believed to cost Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars each year, usually negotiated through insurance claims. In addition, thefts tax the health care system as well as police and court resources.

Experts studying theft, draw a connection between theft and loss of human left. For example, between 2008 and 2010, reports indicate that 90 people were killed as a result of a vehicle theft. Among those who died were five police officers. During the same time period, more than 125 people were injured in theft-related incidents.

Researchers believe that the country’s high theft rate is connected to an increase in organized crime, but also attribute part of the problem to enforcement levels that are out of step with the volume of incidents. Criminal Code provisions for vehicle theft and a lack of stringent sentencing precedents for convicted thieves are also believed to be contributing factors.

Such analysis has stoked pressure on some police forces to make arrests in theft-related incidents and has influenced the number of theft-related cases moving through the court system. An increase in the volume of such cases has forced an already overburdened justice system and the lawyers within it to offer interpretations of parts of the Criminal Code even though many of them lack the necessary familiarity with it.

Individuals facing theft-related charges face being convicted and sentenced. They are encouraged to, at the very least, enlist the services of a Bail Lawyer to help them navigate a most critical juncture in the criminal trial process.

Similarly, those embroiled in a fraud-related incident would do well to meet with a Fraud Lawyer Toronto who is very familiar with the Criminal Code and who can help a client navigate the court system.

The author of this article is affiliated with Kostman & Pyzer Barristers Toronto Criminal Lawyers, a criminal defence law firm serving clients in the Greater Toronto area and elsewhere in the province of Ontario.

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