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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 4 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.


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