Can my wife be forced to testify against me if the crime happens before we were married.

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Can my wife be forced to testify against me if the crime happens before we were married.

Receiving stolen property felony

Asked on May 1, 2019 under Criminal Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The issues are:
1) How did she find out? If she saw you commit the crime, there is no privilege against her testifying: the "marital privilege" under New Hampshire Rule of Evidence 504 only applies to things you tell her (a "marital confidence"), not what she directly perceives. So if she saw the crime, she can be made to testify.
2) If she only learned about the crime from you telling her, when did you tell her? If during marriage, the privilege should apply (though see below). If you told her pre-marriage, however, it was not a "marital confidence" and she can be forced to testify.
3) If you told her during marriage, did you tell her privately, or tell her in front of other people (or on a group text, email, chat, etc.)? If you told her together with other people, it was not a "confidence" and she could be forced to testify.
 


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