Forcible Confinement Lawyers Toronto – How to Defend Forcible Confinement Charges 

Forcible confinement is a serious offence under Canadian criminal law, and can result in severe legal consequences if convicted. In this blog post, we will explore the legal definition of forcible confinement, potential defences, the court process, and possible legal consequences if convicted of this offence.

A forcible confinement allegation may be accompanied by other charges including assault, sexual assault, uttering threats or mischief, especially in the context of a domestic dispute. It is not uncommon for an allegation of forcible confinement to be raised during a divorce and custody dispute because a criminal claim of this nature can typically assist a complainant with obtaining an advantage in family law proceedings. Allegations of forcible confinement can be challenging to defend because there are rarely other witnesses or physical evidence to support or refute the claim.

Our team of forcible confinement lawyers has successfully defended hundreds of domestic related allegations in all corners of Ontario. We regularly appear in courtrooms across the Greater Toronto Area in addition to the Toronto courthouses including NewmarketOshawaBrampton, and Milton.

What is forcible confinement?

According to Canada’s Criminal Code, forcible confinement is defined as intentionally confining, imprisoning, or forcibly seizing another person without their lawful authority. This means that if someone intentionally restrains or confines another person against their will, they could be charged with forcible confinement.

What must the Crown Attorney prove to establish the crime of forcible confinement? 

In a forcible confinement case, the Crown must prove several elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction. Specifically, the Crown must establish the following:

  1. The accused intentionally confined, imprisoned, or forcibly seized another person without lawful authority;
  2. The confinement was against the will of the victim;
  3. The accused had the necessary intent to commit the offence, which means they acted purposefully or with knowledge that their actions would result in the confinement of the victim.

It is important to note that the Crown must prove all three elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction. This means that the evidence presented must be sufficient to convince the judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of committing the crime.

If the Crown is unable to prove any one of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused may be acquitted of the offence. It is important to note that an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and it is the burden of the Crown to prove the case against them.

What are legal defences to forcible confinement?

It is important to note that there are certain legal defences available in cases of forcible confinement. For example, if the accused can demonstrate that they were acting in self-defence or in the defence of others, or that they had a reasonable belief that they had the lawful authority to confine the person, they may be able to avoid a conviction for forcible confinement.

It is also possible to argue that the complainant was not confined, the complainant was not a credible witness, gave consent to be confined or that the complainant misidentified the perpetrator of the allegation.

In terms of the court process, forcible confinement is considered a serious offence and will typically be prosecuted more vigorously by the prosecutor. The accused will have the right to a fair trial, which may include the calling of witnesses, cross-examination of the prosecutor’s witnesses, and the presentation of evidence and witnesses that undermine the allegation.

What are the legal consequences of a forcible confinement conviction?

If convicted of forcible confinement, the legal consequences can be severe. Under the Criminal Code, the maximum penalty for this offence when prosecuted by indictment is 10 years in prison. The maximum jail sentence is reduced to two years less a day when the case is prosecuted on summary conviction. It is important to note that this is the maximum penalty, and the actual sentence imposed will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of the offence, the presence of aggravating or mitigating factors, and the offender’s criminal record and personal circumstances. In cases where the offence involves aggravating factors, such as the use of a weapon or threats of violence, or if the victim is a vulnerable person, such as a child or an older person, the sentence is likely to be more severe. Conversely, if the offender has no prior criminal record and is able to demonstrate remorse or other mitigating factors, the sentence may be more lenient. Ultimately, the decision on the appropriate sentence will be made by the judge, who will consider all relevant factors in the case before imposing a sentence.

Additionally, a conviction for forcible confinement can have long-lasting consequences, including a criminal record and difficulty obtaining employment or travelling internationally.

In conclusion, forcible confinement is a serious offence under Canadian criminal law that can result in significant legal consequences if convicted. If you are facing charges of forcible confinement, it is important to seek legal advice from a qualified criminal defence lawyer to understand your options and potential defences. Call the lawyers at Daniel Brown Law at (416) 297-7200 to consult with you about a forcible confinement allegation.