Trafficking in Stolen Property (Offence)

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Trafficking in Stolen Property
s. 355.2 to 355.5 of the Crim. Code
Election / Plea
Crown Election Indictment (355.5(a))
Hybrid (355.5(b))
summary proceedings must initiate within 6 months of the offence (786(2))
Jurisdiction Prov. Court

Sup. Court w/ Jury (*)
Sup. Court w/ Judge-alone (*)

* Must be indictable. Preliminary inquiry also available.
Types of Release Release by Officer, Officer-in-Charge, or Judge (varies on charge)
Summary Dispositions
Avail. Disp. Discharge (730)

Suspended Sentence (731(1)(a))
Fine (734)
Fine + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail (718.3, 787)
Jail + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail + Fine (734)

Conditional Sentence (742.1)
Minimum None
Maximum six months jail and/or a $5,000 fine
Indictable Dispositions
Avail. Disp. Discharge (730)*

Suspended Sentence (731(1)(a))
Fine (734)
Fine + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail (718.3, 787)
Jail + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail + Fine (734)
Conditional Sentence (742.1)*

(* varies)
Minimum None
Maximum 5 or 14 years incarceration
Reference
Offence Elements
Sentence Digests

Overview

Offences relating to trafficking in stolen property are found in Part IX of the Criminal Code relating to "Offences Against Rights of Property".

Sections 355.2 to 355.5 describe four offences relating to the trafficking of stolen property. There are offences for trafficking in stolen property of value exceeding $5,000 [355.2 and 355.5(a)] and trafficking in stolen property of value not exceeding $5,000 [355.2 and 355.5(b)]. There are also offences for the possession of stolen property for the purpose of trafficking of value exceeding $5,000 [355.4 and 355.5(a)] and possession of stolen property for the purpose of trafficking of value not exceeding $5,000 [355.4 and 355.5(b)].

Pleadings

Offence
Section
Offence
Type
Crown Election Defence Election
s. 536(2)
355.2, 355.4, 355.5(b) [less than $5,000] Hybrid Offence(s) Yes Yes, if Crown proceeds by Indictment
355.2, 355.4, or 355.5(a) [equal or greater than $5,000] Indictable Offence(s) N/A Yes

Offences under s. 355.2, 355.4, 355.5(b) [value no greater than $5,000] are hybrid with a Crown election. If prosecuted by indictment, there is a Defence election of Court under s. 536(2).

Offences under s. 355.2, 255.4, 355.5(a) [value greater than $5,000] are straight indictable. There is a Defence election of Court under s. 536(2).


Release

When charged under s. 355.2, 255.4, 355.5(b) [value no greater than $5,000], the accused cannot be given an attendance notice or a summons without arrest, nor can he be released by an arresting officer. He can be released by an officer-in-charge under s. 498 on a promise to appear or recognizance. He can also be released by a justice under s. 515. A youth will be subject to a maximum penalty of 3 years under s. 42(15) of the YCJA and can be given an attendance notice without arrest under s. 496 or a summons and if arrested, can be released by the arresting officer under s. 497 on a attendance notice or by an officer-in-charge under s. 498 on a promise to appear or recognizance. The youth can also be released by a justice under s. 515. When charged under s. 355.2, 255.4, 355.5(a) [value greater than $5,000], the accused must be held by police when arrested, they must be brought before a judge or justice under s. 503 and are only to be released by an order of a judge or justice under s. 515. A youth will be subject to a maximum penalty of 3 years under s. 42(15) of the YCJA and can be given an attendance notice without arrest under s. 496 or a summons and if arrested, can be released by the arresting officer under s. 497 on a attendance notice or by an officer-in-charge under s. 498 on a promise to appear or recognizance. The youth can also be released by a justice under s. 515.

There will be a presumption of custody (reverse onus) if the offence, prosecuted by indictment, was committed:

  • while at large under s. 515 [bail release], 679 or 680 [release pending appeal or review of appeal] (s. 515(6)(a)(i));
  • "for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association" with a criminal organization (s. 515(6)(a)(ii));
  • where the offence involved a firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, while the accused was subject to a prohibition order preventing possession of these items (s. 515(6)(a)(viii)); or
  • where the accused is not "ordinarily a resident in Canada" (s. 515(6)(b)).

Publication Bans
For all offences there is a discretionary general publication ban available on application of the Crown, victim or witness to prohibit the publishing of "any information that could identify the victim or witness" under s. 486.5(1) where it is "necessary" for the "proper administration of justice". Other available publication bans include prohibitions for publishing evidence or other information arising from a bail hearing (s. 517), preliminary inquiry (s. 539) or jury trial (s. 648). There is a mandatory publication ban in all youth prosecutions on information tending to identify young accused under s. 110 of the YCJA or young victim under s. 111 of the YCJA.

Designations

See below in Ancillary Sentencing Orders for details on designations relating to sentencing orders.

Offence Wording

Trafficking in property obtained by crime
355.2 Everyone commits an offence who traffics in any property or thing or any proceeds of any property or thing knowing that all or part of the property, thing or proceeds was obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from

(a) the commission in Canada of an offence punishable by indictment; or
(b) an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence punishable by indictment.

2010, c. 14, s. 6.


CCC

Possession of property obtained by crime — trafficking
355.4 Everyone commits an offence who has in their possession, for the purpose of trafficking, any property or thing or any proceeds of any property or thing knowing that all or part of the property, thing or proceeds was obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from

(a) the commission in Canada of an offence punishable by indictment; or
(b) an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence punishable by indictment.

2010, c. 14, s. 6.


CCC

Punishment
355.5 Everyone who commits an offence under section 355.2 or 355.4

(a) is, if the value of the subject matter of the offence is more than $5,000, guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years; or
(b) is, if the value of the subject matter of the offence is not more than $5,000,
(i) guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or
(ii) guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

2010, c. 14, s. 6.


CCC

Proof of the Offences

Proving trafficking in property obtained by crime under s. 355.2 should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit traffics anything or proceeds of anything;
  5. the culprit knew "that all or part" of the thing "was obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from":
    1. "the commission in Canada of an offence punishable by indictment"; or
    2. "an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence punishable by indictment."
  6. The value of thing or proceed.

Proving possession of property obtained by crime — trafficking under s. 355.4 should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit possesses any thing or proceeds of a thing;
  5. the culprit possessed it "for the purpose of trafficking";
  6. the culprit knew "that all or part" of the thing or proceeds "was obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from"
    1. "the commission in Canada of an offence punishable by indictment;" or
    2. "an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence punishable by indictment".
  7. The value of thing or proceed.

Interpretation

"traffic"

Definition of “traffic”
355.1 For the purposes of sections 355.2 and 355.4, “traffic” means to sell, give, transfer, transport, export from Canada, import into Canada, send, deliver or deal with in any other way, or to offer to do any of those acts.
2010, c. 14, s. 6.


CCC


In Rem

In rem prohibition
355.3 The importation into Canada or exportation from Canada of any property or thing or any proceeds of any property or thing is prohibited if all or part of the property, thing or proceeds was obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from

(a) the commission in Canada of an offence punishable by indictment; or
(b) an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence punishable by indictment.

2010, c. 14, s. 6.


CCC

Participation of Third Parties

See also: Role of the Victim and Third Parties and Testimonial Aids for Young, Disabled or Vulnerable Witnesses

Testimonial Aids
Certain persons who testify are entitled to make application for the use of testimonial aids: Exclusion of Public (s. 486), Use of a Testimonial Screen (s. 486), Access to Support Person While Testifying (s. 486.1), Close Proximity Video-link Testimony (s. 486.2), Self-Represented Cross-Examination Prohibition Order (s. 486.3), and Witness Security Order (s. 486.7).

A witness, victim or complainant may also request publication bans (s. 486.4, 486.5) and/or a Witness Identity Non-disclosure Order (s. 486.31). See also, Publication Bans, above.

On Finding of Guilt
For any indictable offence with a maximum penalty no less than 5 years (including offences under s. 355.2), but are not serious personal injury offences, s. 606(4.2) requires that after accepting a guilty plea the judge must inquire whether "any of the victims had advised the prosecutor of their desire to be informed if such an agreement were entered into, and, if so, whether reasonable steps were taken to inform that victim of the agreement". Failing to take reasonable steps at guilty plea requires the prosecutor to "as soon as feasible, take reasonable steps to inform the victim of the agreement and the acceptance of the plea" (s. 606(4.3)).

Under s. 738, a judge must inquire from the Crown before sentencing whether "reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victims with an opportunity to indicate whether they are seeking restitution for their losses and damages".

Under s. 722(2), the judge must inquire "[a]s soon as feasible" before sentencing with the Crown "if reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victim with an opportunity to prepare" a victim impact statement. This will include any person "who has suffered, or is alleged to have suffered, physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss" as a result of the offence. Individuals representing a community impacted by the crime may file a statement under s. 722.2.

Sentencing Principles and Ranges

See also: Purpose and Principles of Sentencing, Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offender, and Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offence

Sentencing Profile

Maximum Penalties

Offence(s) Crown
Election
Maximum Penalty
s. 355.2 and 355.4 [value equal or greater than $5,000] Indictment 14 years custody
s. 355.2 and 355.4 [value under $5,000] Summary Election six months jail and/or a $5,000 fine
s. 355.2 and 355.4 [value under $5,000] Indictment Election 5 years custody

Minimum Penalties
These offences have no mandatory minimum penalties.

Available Sentences

Offence(s) Crown
Election
Discharge
s. 730
Suspended
Sentence

s. 731(1)(a)
Stand-alone
Fine

s. 731(1)(b)
Custody
s. 718.3, 787
Custody and
Probation
s. 731(1)(b)
Custody and
Fine
s. 734
Conditional
Sentence
(CSO)
s. 742.1
s. 355.2, 355.4 [value under $5,000] any OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png
s. 355.2, 355.4 [value of $5,000 and greater] N/A X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png
s. 355.5(a) OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png

Offences under s. 355.5(a) are ineligible for a conditional sentence order under s. 742.1(c), when prosecuted by indictment, as the maximum period of incarceration is 14 years or life.

If convicted under s. 355.2 and 355.4 [value greater than $5,000] a discharge is not available under s. 730(1) as it is "an offence for which a minimum punishment is prescribed by law or an offence punishable by imprisonment for fourteen years or for life".

Consecutive Sentences
There are no statutory requirements that the sentences be consecutive.

Principles

Ranges

see also: Trafficking in Stolen Property (Sentencing Cases)

Ancillary Sentencing Orders

See also: Ancillary Orders

Offence-specific Orders

Order Conviction Description
DNA Orders s. 355.5

General Sentencing Orders

Order Conviction Description
Non-communication order while offender in custody (s. 743.21) any The judge has discretion to order that the offender be prohibited "from communicating...with any victim, witness or other person" while in custody except where the judge "considers [it] necessary" to communicate with them.
Restitution Orders (s. 738) any A discretionary Order is available for things such as the replacement value of the property; the pecuniary damages incurred from harm, expenses fleeing a domestic partner; or certain expenses arising from the commission of an offence under s.402.2 or 403.
Victim Fine Surcharge (s. 737) any A mandatory surcharge under s. 737 of 30% of any fine order imposed, $100 per summary conviction or $200 per indictable conviction. If offence occurs on or after October 23, 2013, the order is discretionary based on ability to pay and the minimum amounts are smaller (15%, $50, or $100).

General Forfeiture Orders

Forfeiture Conviction Description
Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime (s. 462.37(1) or (2.01)) any Where there is a finding of guilt for an indictable offence under the Code or the CDSA in which property is "proceeds of crime" and offence was "committed in relation to that property", the property shall be forfeited to Her Majesty the Queen on application of the Crown.
Fine in Lieu of Forfeiture (s. 462.37(3)) any Where a Court is satisfied an order for the forfeiture of proceeds of crime under s. 462.37(!) or (2.01) can be made, but that property cannot be "made subject to an order", then the Court "may" order a fine in "an amount equal to the value of the property". Failure to pay the fine will result in a default judgement imposing a period of incarceration.
Forfeiture of Weapons or Firearms (s. 491) any Where there is finding of guilt for an offence where a "weapon, an imitation firearm, a prohibited device, any ammunition, any prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance was used in the commission of [the] offence and that thing has been seized and detained", or "that a person has committed an offence that involves, or the subject-matter of which is, a firearm, a cross-bow, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance has been seized and detained, that the item be an enumerated weapon or related item be connected to the offence", then there will be a mandatory forfeiture order. However, under s. 491(2), if the lawful owner "was not a party to the offence" and the judge has "no reasonable grounds to believe that the thing would or might be used in the commission of an offence", then it should be returned to the lawful owner.
Forfeiture of Offence-related Property (s. 490.1) any Where there is a finding of guilt for an indictable offence, "any property is offence-related property" where (a) by means or in respect of which an indictable offence under this Act or the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act is committed, (b) that is used in any manner in connection with the commission of such an offence, or (c) that is intended to be used for committing such an offence". Such property is to be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province.