Do I have to testify against my husband in his domestic violence trial if I was the victim?

I don’t want to go to court.

Asked on November 29, 2015 under Criminal Law, Connecticut

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you do have to testify. The fact is that a subpoena is a court order requiring your appearance. If you ignore it, you can be held in contempt of court at which point a warrant for your arrest can be can be issued. You can also face fines and/or jail time.
Some victims try to avoid giving testimony by attempting to invoke their constitutional right against self-incrimination (i.e. pleading the 5th). However, this right doesn't apply simply because a witness doesn't want to testify; it only applies if their testimony would cause them to incriminate themself in the crime at hand or another crime. 
Additionally, in domestic violence cases, many spouse's try to invoke "spousal privilege", which is the right of one spouse to not have to give testimony against the other spouse. However, most states have made an exception for victims of DV, so now one spouse can be made to testify against the other.
At this point, you can consult directly with a local criminal law attorney in your area. They can best advise you further.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.