The marital communications privilege is the privilege allowing one spouse not to testify about confidential communications made to the other spouse. It is based on the principle that conversations between two people who are married are considered privileged, and therefore inadmissible as evidence in a trial. There are two separate privileges within this category, the husband-and-wife privilege and the spousal confidential communications privilege.
The husband-and-wife privilege protects a marital relationship when a valid marriage exists. The privilege is mainly used to grant spousal immunity from testifying in criminal cases. The husband-and-wife privilege:
This privilege applies to communications made during the time of marriage, in anticipation that it would be kept confidential. The spousal communications privilege:
If you are accused of a crime, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can best assess your specific situation to determine if this privilege applies in your case. A family lawyer can also advise you of your privileges and rights in divorce proceedings and civil lawsuits.
Last Modified: 10-08-2014 12:14 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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