Toronto-area legal firm provides pro bono defence for shoplifting

Canada Global (Web News) In a time when inflation has driven up food prices, a post on Instagram by a Richmond Hill-based legal services company has been getting a lot of attention around the Greater Toronto Area.

Potential clients are informed in the advertisement, prepared by the firm We Defend You, that “we defend anyone arrested for shoplifting goods from grocery stores for FREE!”

The last word is followed by two asterisks, which reveal a small print caution: “first offence of value less than $5000.”

The advertisement says, “You do not deserve a criminal record because you wanted to feed your family.

We Defend You’s Frank Alfano, whose career has spanned more than three decades, declares, “I’m not pro-crime, and I’m not saying stealing’s OK.”

“I’m just saying, look, people occasionally err; they’ve had a bad day; or they’ve done something they wouldn’t have done otherwise. And those are the individuals I work for free because, if you’re stealing a carton of eggs for your family, you can’t afford to pay me.

Alfano told Global News that he has always represented similar clients for bono but that the internet advertisement and the current high cost of groceries seem to have amplified the attention he is receiving.

He said that most of these situations end up in something called a diversion programme, “unless the person has a long past or something.”

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