Know the Forcible Confinement Law in Canada

Forcible Confinement Law in Canada

Forcible Confinement is not legal in Canada and is considered a serious crime. Forcible Confinement is a type of physical abuse. Sometimes people confuse forcible Confinement with kidnapping, which are not quite the same.

To clear out all the confusion, here is our version of the forcible confinement meaning. Also, we will try to discuss the difference between kidnapping and the consequences later on.

What is Forcible Confinement or Unlawful Confinement?

Forcible Confinement is the act of holding a person locked up against their will. And this act is done illegally in any location, using threats, violence, or cunning. Forcible Confinement violates one of the fundamental human rights: freedom of movement, to come and go.

In the Canadian legal system, it is assimilated as a crime, punishable by prison terms.

For there to be forcible Confinement, the perpetrator must have acted with a deliberate will. This means the assaulter has to deprive the person of the freedom to come and go and in full conscience.

Although kidnapping and forcible Confinement are almost the same, there is a slight difference that separates them both. We will see that later in this article. But before that, let’s see what kidnapping is.

  1. Material element of Forcible Confinement.

The crime of forcible Confinement is defined by the detention of a person. Kidnapping and detention consist of holding a person against their will in an enclosed space, without the possibility for that person to leave.

The crime of forcible Confinement is different from detention. It implies that the person held against him will be in poor conditions (malnourished or not at all, poor living conditions, etc.).

Read Also: Facts About the Criminal Justice System in Canada

     2. Moral element of Forcible Confinement.

The intentional element of Forcible Confinement is characterized when the offender has the will to detain the person. And thus, he prevents the victim from using his right to come and go.

What is Kidnapping and How is It Different from Forcible Confinement?

Kidnapping and forcible Confinement constitute a crime, that is to say, the most serious infringements of the penal code. These two concepts appear in the same section of the penal code, and they are not dissociable.

Kidnapping is also one kind of unlawful Confinement except for the place of Confinement. In the latter, the victim is kept arrested without the ability to move or, in easy words, come and go. But in case of kidnapping, the assaulter must take the victim from one place to another to keep him confined.

However, the crime of kidnapping and forcible Confinement does not only apply to the kidnapping of children. It concerns all victims, adults, or minors. The penal response is graduated according to the possible aggravating circumstances.

What is the Punishment for Forcible Confinement in Canada? What is the Penalty for Kidnapping in Canada?

The crime provided for in article (279(2)) of the Penal Code is punished by 10 years or life imprisonment of criminal imprisonment. However, the penalty can obviously also decrease. Because many aggravating circumstances are foreseen:

  • The victim suffers mutilation or a permanent infirmity because of the kidnapping or because he was deprived of food or care: the penalty is then 10 years of criminal imprisonment;
  • The kidnapping and forcible Confinement is followed or preceded by torture or barbaric acts or if it results in the death of the victim: the penalty provided for is life imprisonment;
  • There are several victims: the penalty is also a lifetime of criminal imprisonment.
  • The kidnapping and sequestration of a person is done as a hostage to prepare or facilitate a crime or an offence: the penalty is up to 7 years of criminal seclusion;
  • The victim is a minor of fifteen years: the penalty is life imprisonment.

The criminal law is particularly heavy with what it considers to be one of the worst acts that can be committed.

Is Kidnapping a Serious Crime? What is the Sentence for Attempted Kidnapping?

Kidnapping is a very serious crime. It is both punishable by imprisonment and fines. Kidnapping or even forcible Confinement is strictly prohibited. There is little to no chance of getting out of the punishment in these cases. If you are proved to be guilty, you will be facing serious consequences.

On the other hand, attempted kidnapping is not a light matter. Depending on the aggravation, the assaulter can get 1.5 to 3 years of prison.

Comprehensive Approach to Cases Involving Forcible Confinement

Forcible Confinement is something that needs full attention when dealing with. If you are in such kind of case, you need an expert who has dealt with these previously.

The lawyer needs to do an in-depth investigation. Find out the sources, check their credibility, find any inconsistency in the story. The important thing is if you are proven guilty, there is no way to get out. All you can do is try to minimize the penalty.


Forcible confinement criminal code is very strict and harsh (and that is good). They come under serious criminal offence. For this type of trial, the defence of an accused must obviously be the best possible to limit the detention of the client. We recommend if you are in such trouble, get an experienced and specialist.



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