I’ve been charged with Theft Under $5,000. What do I need to know?

You commit the crime of Theft if you intentionally take or use someone else’s property without their permission.

Property means anything that someone else owns. It can be something small like a chocolate bar or it can be something more valuable like a bicycle, a phone, or jewellery.

The law says that theft happens as soon as you start to take or use the property without permission. For example, if you hide a chocolate bar in your pocket planning with the intention to walk out of the store without paying, you have committed theft even before you leave the store.

Theft of property worth $5,000 or less is known as “Theft Under”. If the property is worth more than $5,000, it is known as “Theft Over”.

The maximum for Theft Under is:

  • 2 years in jail

The maximum sentence for Theft Over is

  • 2 years in jail if the Crown proceeds
  • 10 years in prison if the Crown proceeds by
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