Forcible Confinement

The offence of forcible confinement is outlined in section 279(2) of the Criminal Code.

An individual commits the offence of forcible confinement when, without lawful authority, they confine, imprison, or forcibly seize another person.


Person A and person B are at person A’s house when an argument breaks out between them. The argument gets heated and person A tries to leave the residence. Person B blocks the door and does not let person A leave the home.

Person C and person D are together in person A’s car. Person D asks person C to pull over and drop her off at the side of the road as she is feeling uncomfortable with the situation. Person C refuses to stop the car and continues to drive around with person D in the car, despite person D’s requests to be let out.


R. v. Inshanally, 2021 ONSC 3432

In R. v. Inshanally, 2021 ONSC 3432, the accused was charged with forcible confinement, among other charges, after he persuaded his intimate partner to get into the car with him and then drove her around for a period of time, despite her asking him repeatedly to let her out. During the drive the offender yelled at and berated the complainant, causing her to fear for her safety.

R. v. Saleh, 2022 ONCA 735

In R. v. Saleh, the offender was charged and convicted at trial of robbery and forcible confinement after a sex worker reported being robbed and held in her apartment by two individuals who had called her soliciting sexual services.

Offence Specific Defences

No Intention

Where the person does not intend to hold the other captive, they may not have completed the offence of kidnapping. For example, if person A steals a car and drives it across the border into the United States unaware that person B is hiding in the backseat, person A has not completed the offence of kidnapping. They have, however, committed a theft offence. 


Where the person is willingly being confined somewhere or transported out of Canada, the person confining or transporting them may not have completed the offence of kidnapping. 

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