In a domestic violence caseagaisnt my husband, can I plead the 5th?

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In a domestic violence caseagaisnt my husband, can I plead the 5th?

He hit me but says that it was an accident.

Asked on December 10, 2017 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are subpoenaed, then you must appear since a subpoena is a direct order from a court. Ignore it and you can he held in contempt and a warrant for failure to appear can be issued for your arrest. Additionally, you can face fines and/or jail time. As for invoking the 5th amendment (i.e. the right aginst self-incrimination), , some domestic violence victims try to do this however, this right only applies if their testimony would cause them to incriminate themselves. Finally, in these type cases, many spouse's think that they can invoke "spousal privilege" which is the right of one spouse not to have to give testimony against the other spouse. However, most states have amended this privilege so that one spouse can be made to testify against the other.


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