The Defence of Implied Consent to Domestic Assault

The offence of assault is widely defined and can capture all kinds of contact that occur in a domestic relationship. It includes any circumstance where a person, without the consent of the other person, applies force intentionally to that person, directly or indirectly. It also includes certain situations where no actual force is applied.

Consent and self-defence can both be defences in these kinds of cases.  However, there is also a defence of implied consent that is distinct from these other defences and can apply in certain circumstances involving relatively minor conduct.  The defence is made out if the evidence raises a reasonable doubt as to whether there was more force than the ordinary touching that takes place with implied consent in a conjugal relationship. The Ontario Court of Appeal has cited as an example a stiuation where an accused takes his wife’s elbow to guide her away from people so they could have a private conversation.  Although this action technically meets the defitinon of assault, the defence would operate to alleviate the harshness of the criminal law.


Practice Areas

Get In Contact With One Of Our Lawyers

Related Posts

Your Next Steps After a Licence Suspension

Each Step Of The Court Process Explained

Everything To Know About Your Crown Pre-Trial

Unlawfully in a Dwelling VS Break and Enter

Understanding The Punishments For Domestic Violence In Canada

Getting Domestic Assault Charges Dropped in Ontario