Kidnapping may not be a crime that you associate with everyday life in Calgary – but it does happen more than most people imagine – and not just in the movies.

If you are accused of kidnapping, you will face serious jail time and a criminal record that will follow you around for the rest of your life, so the charge needs to be taken extremely seriously.

Calgary Kidnapping Offence Lawyer

Often, mitigating circumstances or misunderstandings are present with kidnapping cases. Once we know the circumstances, we will look to build a convincing defence that helps you avoid the serious consequences.

With the assistance of Cory Wilson and his team, we can ensure that an error of judgement or a poor decision made in the heat of the moment doesn’t result in far-reaching consequences for you and your future.

What is criminal confinement/kidnapping?

Sometimes, kidnapping is confused with the offence of criminal confinement.

Both offences require that the accused person confines another person against his or her will, depriving that person of liberty. This is serious in itself.

However, there is an important difference with kidnapping: it involves an extra step of moving, taking or transporting the person from one place to another.

So, kidnapping requires unlawful confinement of a person but forcible confinement does not mean that the person has been kidnapped. For this reason, kidnapping is considered a more serious offence than criminal confinement. Accordingly, the punishments, which are discussed below, are more severe.

Section 279 of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with kidnapping and criminal confinement in the same section as trafficking in persons, hostage-taking and abduction.

It describes the two offences as follows:


279 (1) Every person commits an offence who kidnaps a person with intent

(a) to cause the person to be confined or imprisoned against the person’s will;

(b) to cause the person to be unlawfully sent or transported out of Canada against the person’s will; or

(c) to hold the person for ransom or to service against the person’s will.

Forcible confinement:

(2) Every one who, without lawful authority, confines, imprisons or forcibly seizes another person is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Penalties for kidnapping

If you are found guilty and convicted of kidnapping, your criminal record will have long-term consequences for your future employment and potentially affect your immigration status, education, and travel.

You also have the more immediate penalties to consider. In the most serious cases, this may even include life imprisonment.

The offence is an indictable one and may come with mandatory minimum sentences as follows:

  • Five years, if a restricted or prohibited weapon was used
  • Five years if the crime was associated with a criminal organization
  • Four years, if any firearm was used
  • Five years, if the person kidnapped was under 16 and the kidnapper is not their guardian

These sentences are for first offences. They increase for subsequent offences.

With skilled legal representation, you can limit the penalties against you. We will start by exploring the evidence and examining whether the case may be dismissed or you have a good chance of acquittal at trial.

Defences for kidnapping

Kidnapping is a serious charge but the burden is on the prosecution to prove that the defendant is guilty of the offense.

As soon as we have your version of events and access to the evidence, Cory Wilson will start work on your defence. The defence we use will depend partly on the nature and strength of the evidence against you from the prosecution.

As we prepare your defence, we may interview eyewitnesses and gather statements, check surveillance videos, check records of injuries to the person who was allegedly confined and moved, and gather statements of anyone alleged to have committed the crime with you.

We will also ask the following questions to help determine the best defence to use:

  • Is your identity as the alleged perpetrator of the kidnapping proven beyond a reasonable doubt?
  • If other people were involved, did they act without your knowledge or consent to commit the crime?
  • Was there another explanation for the reason you moved a person from one place to another (for instance, were they in danger?)
  • During the investigation, arrest and charge process, did law enforcement follow the correct procedures?

Sometimes, mistakes, errors, or weaknesses in the prosecution’s case can mean that the Crown will be open to discussing alternative resolutions – or we can proceed to trial with a reasonable chance of acquittal.

Call Us To Arrange A Confidential Consultation

To speak with Cory Wilson or arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with Wilson Criminal Defence, call 403-978-6052 or email us here.

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Tel: 403-978-6052