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What is "unconsented contact?"

In the context of domestic violence laws, "unconsented contact" is an element of stalking. Stalking itself is a crime that can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor, or a felony if the person doing the stalking was, at the time of the stalking registered, or ordered to be registered, as a sex offender. Given the harsh penalties that can result from a stalking conviction, it is important to understand the full range of behaviors that would be considered to constitute unconsented contact.

In general, unconsented contact occurs when a person attempts to be in contact with another person without regard for that person's desire for said contact. And it includes some behaviors that some people might not realize is problematic.

Some examples of unconsented contact include:

  • Showing up at someone's workplace unannounced
  • Calling, emailing or texting someone
  • Following someone or being someplace where the person is likely to be
  • Entering property owned or occupied by another person

While some of these behaviors may seem innocent to some, what is important to keep in mind is how the object of the attention is reacting to the contact. Do they want it? Do they reciprocate? Do they merely tolerate it or seem fearful? If the behavior can be construed in any way as "unwanted," particularly in the context of a domestic violence dispute, this could complicate attempts to build a strong defense. 

If you are facing charges of domestic violence, even if the accusations are false, engaging in any of the above stalking-type behaviors will only get you into further trouble. The best course of action is to speak with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney who can analyze your situation and provide knowledgeable advice about your rights and how best to build an effective defense. 

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