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Calgary criminal lawyer | David Chow.

David Chow started defending persons charged with theft, fraud, possession of stolen property and other property offences as a Law Student in 1999.  He won his first trial in a shoplifting case in 2000.  He then switched from defending property cases to prosecuting them when he joined the the Office of the Attorney General of Alberta in 2002.  In 2005 he embarked on a his career as a full-time criminal defence lawyer and has been defending cases ever since.

A theft essentially constitutes stealing another person’s belongings. Fraud occurs whenever actions are intentionally taken to place the target’s financial interests at risk. The concept of a property is far reaching; it includes theft, fraud, possession of stolen property, mischief, break and enter, home invasion, arson and a plethora of other crimes.  To prove possession of stolen property, the Crown must demonstrate knowledge, consent or control. 

The sentencing regime for property offences is vast.  On one end of the spectrum, low-level incidents of theft may result non-criminal type of consequences, while crimes violating the “trust” of an aggrieved party could result in substantial jail sentences. For instance, a trust theft usually entails stealing from an employer. Since employers place trust in employees and are vulnerable to them, many incidents of trust theft or trust fraud result in actual custodial sentences. Of course, the quantum of loss sustained by the aggrieved party is an important consideration.

David Chow defends theft, fraud and possession of stolen property throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. He regularly appears in Airdrie, Cochrane and Lethbridge. Call 403.452.8018 for a free telephone consultation.

Recent Case Results

R. v. A.R.D.

September 6, 2019

(Calgary, P.C.).  ARD was charged with fraud under $5000. After a review of the disclosure, it was clear that there was a very meritorious defence that even if the Crown could prove that he/she was present at the business where the fraud was alleged to have occurred, it was very unlikely they could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. In the tradition of the Crown directed a "stay of proceedings".  Though the Defence often never discovers the reasons for the "stay of proceedings" (stay) and did not learn of the reasons in this case, ARD illustrates that pressing to trial is often the best way to fully defend a charge. This accused will not have a criminal record reflecting this allegation. It is important to appreciate that a Crown directed "stay" results in the "stayed" charges being set aside.  The accused is no longer subject to bail conditions.  Neither the Court nor the Defence has any basis to interfere with a Prosecutor's discretion to "stay" a charge as opposed to applying for a "withdrawal".  A stay is effectively a "no guilty" result with the exception that if the Crown "stays", they have the discretion in exceptional circumstances, where new evidence that could not have been discovered by any ingenuity on the part of prosecution, to re-open the case within 12 months from the date of the stay. In my legal career as a Calgary criminal lawyer, I have only witnessed 1 case re-opened and that occurred because the accused effectively made admissible confessions to third-parties after the stay was entered.  For a free telephone consultation with an Alberta criminal lawyer who handles all criminal charges, including fraud, call 403.452.8018.

R. v. S.M.

October 31, 2018

(Calgary, P.C.). Calgary defence lawyer, David Chow, successfully defended his client for possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Stolen cars are attracting serious penalties from the criminal courts. The police are even using teaser vehicles to try and attract potential car thieves.   For a free consultation  with a Calgary theft lawyer call 403.452.8018.

Possession of Stolen Property

R. v. M.S.

September 8, 2015

(Calgary, Q.B.) Client was charged with a trust fraud. The case resolved by agreement to a conditional sentence due to a Charter Notice alleging unreasonable delay in the proceedings. "Trust fraud" and other property offences involving a breach of trust are serious because the victim -- usually an employer -- is vulnerable to the accused. Vulnerability occurs because the business relies upon the honesty of its employees and when employees steal or defraud business, the business is in jeopardy. Indeed, businesses have gone out of business because of the actions of an employee.  It is for this reason that the sentence response from courts in trust situations can be quite harsh.  From both a pragmatic, real and criminal defence perspective, however, some business owners are just so lose in their practice that its losses may not be by the actions of an employee and sometimes where the losses are as a result of employee actions, those actions were actually carried out with the endorsement of the business owner. Confronted with failure, it's human nature to blame somebody else; business owners are no different. Many trust frauds are not criminally fraudulent at all; rather, the complainant is more akin to bad business than criminal conduct. If you have been charged with a trust offence, you are at risk of jail. Call Calgary criminal defence lawyer, David Chow, for a free consultation.

R. v. H.M.

December 2, 2014

(Calgary, P.C.).  David Chow defends persons charged with serious, trust related property offences, such as theft over.  A "trust theft" is an aggravated kind of stealing where it is alleged that the accused abused a position of trust.  A trust relationship can be thought of us one of vulnerability, where one person relies on and is exposed to another. Usually trust relationships are employer-employee related. That was the case for HM.  She was charged with a serious trust theft of an approximate value of $90,000.  This level of loss often results in a jail sentence. In a contested sentencing hearing, David successfully argued for a conditional sentence.  Though not an acquittal per se, this is about the best sentence an offender can receive for this kind of offence. In criminal law, sometimes the best outcome is the sentence after the guilty plea. HM did well.  For a free consultation with a Calgary trust theft lawyer, call 403.452.8018.  David appears throughout Alberta.