What can I do as the wife and victim to help lessen my husband sentence?

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What can I do as the wife and victim to help lessen my husband sentence?

My husband is being charged with aggravated
kidnapping and aggravated assault. I’m the
victim but I don’t feel like prison is the best
place for him. Is the spousal privilege really
revoked in this case? Is there anyway of
getting out of testifying? What can I do to
lessen his sentence? I had an attorney
provided by the state but she didn’t keep
confidentiality and we are past the preliminary
hearing I feel like I’m drowning and I don’t
understand the law at all. Please advise

Asked on February 4, 2017 under Criminal Law, Utah

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Have you been subpoenaed to testify? If so, you must go since a subpoena is a direct court order that requires your appearance. If you ignore it, you can he held in contempt of court and a warrant for failure to appear can be issued for your arrest (you can also face fines and/or jail).
 
Some victims try to refuse to testify by invoking the Fifth Amendment, specifically the right against self-incrimination. However this right doesn't apply simply because a witness doesn't want to testify; it only applies if their own testimony would cause them in some way to incriminate themselves.
 
Finally, in domestic violence cases, some spouse's think that they can invoke what is called the "spousal privilege" (i.e. the right of one spouse not to have to give testimony against the other spouse). However, most states have amended their spousal privilege statutes to make an exception for DV victims. Accordingly, one spouse can be made to testify against the other.


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