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Can a wife be forced to testify against her husband even if it is a cdv case

Spartanburg, SC |

I had my husband arrested for cdv now I do not wish to testify and the state says I have to , but don't want to cause we are trying to make our marriage work.

Attorney Answers 2


In many states there is a marital privilege that allows you to refuse to testify against your husband.

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South Carolina has a limited spousal privilege statute in S.C. Code 19-11-30. It only applies to communications. Our Court has held that the privilege does not apply to assaults, because they are physical acts, not covered by the privilege statute.

You can be compelled to testify against your husband during his CDV trial. However there is a process which must be employed to actually compel your testimony (just as in any other type of case). You are under no obligation to voluntarily come to Court and testify. This is an important distinction, and you are going to need a lawyer to advise you. Under certain circumstances you can be held in contempt and put in jail for failing to appear and testify.

You do have important rights as a victim of an alleged CDV. You have a right to consult with, and retain, your own attorney. If you hire an attorney they can assist with all of the contact with the prosecutor and police victim advocate. They will be able to advise you if your situation is one where you are required to appear in Court and to testify.

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