If a crime happen while a couple are divorced can they be made to testify against each other?

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If a crime happen while a couple are divorced can they be made to testify against each other?

If she testifies it can incriminate her. He committed the crime but
she was there also. He wants to get re married so they can’t testify
against each other but I don’t think that is right. What should she
do?

Asked on July 16, 2018 under Criminal Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no spousal privilege (the right to not testify against a spouse) while divorced, so that does not apply. But if her testimony would incriminate her, she can refuse to testify under the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination ("No person shall be . . . compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself'), which has been held to allow someone to refuse to answer questions or testify in any proceeding if doing so will tend to incriminate her of a crime. You can't refuse to appear for testimony; and you can't refuse to answer questions that do not incriminate you (e.g., do you know your ex-spouse?); but you can refuse to answer specific questions where the answers would incriminate you.


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