How to refuse to testify against spouse in criminal tial?

Asked on November 6, 2012 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are a spouse and you are being asked to testify, then you need to respond that you are invoking the husband-wife privilege per TRE 504.  That is a specific response and invocation of the marital privilege.  However, keep in mind that you could still be compelled to testify depending on the nature of the communication and the nature of the offense for which your spouse is on trial for.  Texas does recognize the husband-wife privilege, but does not allow it to be used in cases where the statements are made in "furtherance of a crime or fraud," or if they involve statements regarding a crime against the other spouse or a minor child. 


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