do i have to testify if subpeoned, if the defendant and i get married before the pre-trial date?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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do i have to testify if subpeoned, if the defendant and i get married before the pre-trial date?

there is a dv case against my sons father, and I don’t want to have to testify for the state against him. If we get married asap, will I have to?

Asked on September 8, 2017 under Criminal Law, Indiana


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First of all, a subpoena is a direct order from a court requiring you to appear. If you ignore it, you can be held in contempt and a warrant for failure to appear can be issued for your arrest. Further, some victims try to refuse to testify by invoking their Fifth Amendment rights (i.e. the right against self-incrimination). However, this right doesn't apply just because a witness does not want to testify; it only applies if their testimony would cause them to incriminate themselves in either the crime in question or another crime. Furthermore, in DV cases, "spousal privilege" does not apply because most jurisdictions have amended their privilege statutes to make an exception for the victims since many are intimidated by their abuser not to testify. Acordingly, in such cases, one spouse can be made to testify against the other.

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 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.

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