Jump to Navigation

Human Trafficking, Kidnapping, Forcible Confinement Lawyer In Toronto


Mississauga, Brampton and Newmarket Human Trafficking, Kidnapping, Forcible Confinement Lawyer

Commonly Asked Questions

  1. What is human trafficking?
  2. What is the sentence for human trafficking?
  3. What is kidnapping?
  4. What is the sentence for kidnapping?
  5. What is forcible confinement?
  6. What is the sentence for forcible confinement?
  7. What is SOIRA?
  8. What is a Section 161 Order?
  9. What are my Charter rights?
  10. Can the Charter help my defence?
  11. Can I get assistance from Legal Aid Ontario for my case?

Human trafficking, sometimes referred to as trafficking in persons, and kidnapping accusations have the potential to ruin lives. A conviction can mean prison time, but it also carries life-long consequences. If committed in conjunction with a sexual offence, you may be required to register as a sex offender, and you may be required to report all your movements regularly. More information on the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA), the National Sex Offender Registry and the Ontario Sex Offender Registry is available here.

A conviction for human trafficking or kidnapping can prevent you from getting a job and could block you from travelling outside Canadian borders. Beyond that, the stigma that attaches to those convicted of human trafficking or kidnapping can forever change the way others view you.

For all of these reasons, it is critical that you have a skilled, knowledgeable defence lawyer on your side. I have more than 35 years of experience defending against human trafficking and kidnapping charges. I believe strongly that everyone deserves a defence, and I will work hard to build the strongest possible case on your behalf.

When you hire me as your lawyer, I will meticulously evaluate all of the evidence against you and create the strongest possible defence on your behalf. If your case requires a jury trial, I have the necessary experience, advocacy skills and confidence to convincingly argue your case to the jury.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your human trafficking, kidnapping and forcible confinement case. I offer a free 30-minute consultation. For your convenience, I offer reasonable payment plans. I also accept Legal Aid in most cases. You can reach me by phone at (416) 651-2299 or toll free at 1-888-399-3164 or by e-mail.

What is Human Trafficking?

Section 279.01 captures a wide range of behaviour, including the transport, recruitment and transfer of a person, which may constitute human trafficking if the element of exploitation exists in conjunction with those actions. Broadly speaking, section 279.04 identifies two instances where exploitation exists. The first circumstance is where the exploited person is forced to provide services or labour, such as sexual services, because they fear for their own safety or the safety of others. The second circumstance is where the accused uses threats, deception or coercion to have a complainant's organ or tissue removed.

Human trafficking and related activities are serious criminal offences. There are three types of prohibitions: the first is a global prohibition on the trafficking of persons; the second is a prohibition on benefiting from such trafficking; and the third is a prohibition on withholding or destroying identity, travel or immigration documents to facilitate human trafficking.

Consent is not a defence to a charge of human trafficking.

The relevant sections of the Criminal Code of Canada read as follows:

279.01(1) Every person who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) to imprisonment for life if they kidnap, commit an aggravated assault or aggravated sexual assault against, or cause death to, the victim during the commission of the offence; or

(b) to imprisonment for a term of not more than fourteen years in any other case.

(2) No consent to the activity that forms the subject-matter of a charge under subsection (1) is valid.

...

279.02(1) Everyone who receives a financial or other material benefit, knowing that it is obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from the commission of an offence under subsection 279.01(1), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years.

(2) Everyone who receives a financial or other material benefit, knowing that it is obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from the commission of an offence under subsection 279.011(1), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of two years.

279.03(1) Everyone who, for the purpose of committing or facilitating an offence under subsection 279.01(1), conceals, removes, withholds or destroys any travel document that belongs to another person or any document that establishes or purports to establish another person's identity or immigration status  - whether or not the document is of Canadian origin or is authentic  -  is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years.

(2) Everyone who, for the purpose of committing or facilitating an offence under subsection 279.011(1), conceals, removes, withholds or destroys any travel document that belongs to another person or any document that establishes or purports to establish another person's identity or immigration status  - whether or not the document is of Canadian origin or is authentic  -  is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year.

There is a mandatory minimum sentence for offences involving the trafficking of persons under the age of 18. Section 279.011(1) reads as follows:

279.011(1) Every person who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person under the age of eighteen years, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person under the age of eighteen years, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of six years if they kidnap, commit an aggravated assault or aggravated sexual assault against, or cause death to, the victim during the commission of the offence; or

(b) to imprisonment for a term of not more than fourteen years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of five years, in any other case.

(2) No consent to the activity that forms the subject-matter of a charge under subsection (1) is valid.

Section 279.04 provides a definition of the term "exploit" found in sections 279.01 to 279.03 and lists a number of factors that a court may use to consider whether exploitation existed in the circumstances.

279.04(1) For the purposes of sections 279.01 to 279.03, a person exploits another person if they cause them to provide, or offer to provide, labour or a service by engaging in conduct that, in all the circumstances, could reasonably be expected to cause the other person to believe that their safety or the safety of a person known to them would be threatened if they failed to provide, or offer to provide, the labour or service.

(2) In determining whether an accused exploits another person under subsection (1), the Court may consider, among other factors, whether the accused

(a) used or threatened to use force or another form of coercion;

(b) used deception; or

(c) abused a position of trust, power or authority.

(3) For the purposes of sections 279.01 to 279.03, a person exploits another person if they cause them, by means of deception or the use or threat of force or of any other form of coercion, to have an organ or tissue removed.

Canada exercises extraterritorial jurisdiction over human trafficking and its related offences pursuant to section 7(4.11).

What is a Prohibition Order Pursuant to Section 161 of the Criminal Code of Canada?

A person who is found guilty of committing an offence under Section 279.011, Section 279.02(2) or Section 279.03(2) with respect to a person who is under the age of 16 years also faces the possibility that the court may make an order prohibiting the offender from engaging in activity that may bring the offender in contact with persons under the age of 16 years. This prohibition order is discretionary. The prohibition order may be for life or any shorter period that the court considers desirable. The court may also make the prohibition order subject to conditions or exemptions that the court considers appropriate.

The prohibition order may prohibit the offender from doing any or all of the following:

(a) attending a public park or public swimming area where persons under the age of 16 years are present or can reasonably be expected to be present, or a day care centre, school ground, playground or community centre;

(b) seeking, obtaining or continuing any employment, whether or not the employment is remunerated, or becoming or being a volunteer in a capacity that involves being in a position of trust or authority toward persons under the age of 16 years;

(c) having any contact - including communicating by any means - with a person who is under the age of 16 years, unless the offender does so under the supervision of a person whom the court considers appropriate; or

(d) using the Internet or other digital network unless the offender does so in accordance with conditions set by the court.

What is Kidnapping?

The offence of kidnapping is set out in Section 279 of the Criminal Code of Canada which reads 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.

The maximum penalty for kidnapping is life in prison. Also, there are mandatory minimum penalties that may apply depending on the circumstances.

Section 279(1.1) provides as follows:

279 (1.1) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) if a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of

(i) in the case of a first offence, five years, and

(ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years;

(a.1) in any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years;

(a.2) if the person referred to in paragraph (1)(a), (b) or (c) is under 16 years of age, to imprisonment for life and, unless the person who commits the offence is a parent, guardian or person having the lawful care or charge of the person referred to in that paragraph, to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of five years; and

(b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

What is Forcible Confinement?

The offence of forcible confinement is set out in Section 279(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada which reads as follows:

279(2) Everyone 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.

DNA and Other Forensic Evidence

Forensic evidence, such as DNA evidence, is just one type of evidence that the Crown can try to introduce against a person accused of a crime. The defence can challenge the admissibility of forensic evidence on the basis of relevance, prejudice or that there is a lack of a sufficient scientific foundation to make the evidence reliable and worthy of being admitted, in other words, the forensic evidence is inadmissible because it is based on "junk science".

Over the years, there have been several types of forensic evidence that have been rejected by the courts in the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada, including voice print identification, comparative bullet lead analysis and several indicators of arson dependent on visual cues.

Likewise, there are various other types of forensic evidence which are possibly unreliable, such as microscopic hair comparison, and "pattern comparison" evidence such as bite marks, tire marks and handwriting.

Even in cases where the forensic evidence is ruled admissible, the defence can still try to weaken the impact of the evidence by arguing, for example, that the results of the forensic testing were the subject of "motivated perception". In other words, the scientist who did the testing interpreted the results so as to support his or her expectations or the expectations of the police or Crown prosecutors. The defence can argue, or call evidence to show, that the forensic examiner should have first tested the evidence blindly without knowing anything about the case in order to avoid a subconscious bias. Studies have shown that even the opinion of fingerprint analysts can be affected by the analysts' preconceived notions about the case. Also, there is always a risk of a false positive. Moreover, if the laboratory that completed the testing, such as the Centre of Forensic Sciences, is known to have made errors on occasion in the past, the defence can argue that the error rates should also be entered in evidence.

In appropriate cases, and where funds permit, the evidence can be re-tested by an independent laboratory for verification.

A good defence lawyer should know the weaknesses of specific scientific techniques or seek out an appropriate defence consulting expert to learn about and present evidence regarding those weaknesses.

Pre-Trial Charter Applications

Often, the best defence to a criminal charge involves a challenge to the investigation that resulted in the arrest of the accused or the collection of evidence against the accused. The police are not allowed to breach the rights that are guaranteed to the accused by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I will investigate any possible Charter breaches by carefully reviewing the Crown disclosure documents, including the documents used by the police to obtain search warrants for the home, car or other property of the accused, and the documents used by the police to obtain production orders, such as for cell phone records and wiretap authorizations.

If I detect any violation of the Charter rights of the accused or violation of acceptable investigative procedures established by the courts, I will proceed with an application asking for the exclusion of evidence from the trial of the accused obtained illegally by the police, including the statements of the accused and other evidence seized during the investigation.

I have an established reputation for success in pre-trial applications. Winning a Charter application will result in the exclusion of evidence if the court determines that not excluding the evidence will bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The exclusion of evidence often results in a finding of not guilty if the Crown's remaining evidence is insufficient to prove that the accused committed the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.

I have the necessary experience, research skills, writing skills, and advocacy skills to prepare and effectively argue pre-trial Charter applications. The value of legal writing skills cannot be overstated since proceeding with pre-trial Charter applications will require the preparation of several documents including a Notice of Application, an Affidavit, and a Factum setting out the relevant facts and summarizing the relevant case law.

Electing to Have a Preliminary Inquiry

In cases in which a Defendant is exposed to a possible period of 14 years or more in jail, the Defendant will have the right to proceed with a preliminary inquiry in the Ontario Court of Justice and then a trial in the Superior Court of Justice before a court composed of a Judge sitting with a jury or without a jury. In the past, this level of court was referred to as "High Court".

The completion of a preliminary inquiry is not mandatory. The Defendant has the right to waive the preliminary inquiry and to proceed directly to trial in either the Ontario Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice. If the trial is to be completed in the Superior Court of Justice, the waiver of the preliminary inquiry will require the consent of the Crown.

At a preliminary inquiry, the Crown is required to call some evidence upon which a properly instructed jury, acting reasonably, may return a verdict of guilt. This is an easy test for the Crown to meet in the vast majority of cases. Accordingly, it is relatively rare for someone who proceeds with a preliminary inquiry to be discharged with respect to all of the charges which he or she is facing. The real value in having a preliminary inquiry is not in the hope of being entirely discharged, thereby bringing the entire criminal proceedings to an end, but in being able to better prepare the case for trial. The defence lawyer will have an opportunity to cross-examine and test the evidence of the primary Crown witnesses. An experienced and skilled defence lawyer can discover the strengths and weaknesses of the Crown witnesses and commence building an effective defence strategy. A preliminary inquiry is especially valuable for the defence in cases involving young, infirm, unreliable or unsavory Crown witnesses.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your human trafficking, kidnapping and forcible confinement case. I offer a free 30-minute consultation. For your convenience, I offer reasonable payment plans. I also accept Legal Aid in most cases. You can reach me by phone at (416) 651-2299 or toll free at 1-888-399-3164 or by e-mail.

Successes Click Here
Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an lawyer-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close
*Experience is Your Best Defence*