Can spousal privilege be used in domestic violence cases?

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Can spousal privilege be used in domestic violence cases?

I don’t wish to testify against my husband for I am dealing with mental issues and am not sure if I started the fight. I may have pushed him first and it’s what caused him to do it back. There is no evidence he didpush me to cause bruising on my arm all they have is my statement as well as pictures of bruises at the sheriff’s office. He is on probation for the first time assault and was give first time offender. I don’t wish to proceed or testify. I want to drop the order that is in place. I did it in a emotional state but I know he wouldn’t hurt us.

Asked on August 8, 2018 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can voluntarily decide to not testify against your husband; he could not use the privilege without your consent, however, since the law does not let a suspected abuser "silence" the witness/victim that way. It is also possible that the authorities will agree to dismiss the case if you ask them to--at the least, it is worth asking, if that is what you want to do.


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