Financial liablity for penalties and restitution awarded against my spouse? If the crime occured prior to our meeting

Asked almost 2 years ago - San Diego, CA

My wife is being charged with a Federal white collar crime and she is concidering a plea deal. If she accepts a plea deal and is awarded financial damages, can I be held liable to repay those damages because we are married at the time of her sentencing? The alledged crime took place before we even met and I have zero involvement it the commision of any part of these charges. We have no communal assets and she is unemployed.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Joshua Branden Swigart

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . California is a Community Property state. Under California's community property guise you would likely not be held liable for your wife's alleged crimes that took place before your relationship, unless, like counsel stated, you voluntarily assumed liability for the damages, which you have likely not done.

    Hyde & Swigart is a law firm concentrating its efforts in the area of consumer law, the Fair Debt Collection... more
  2. Paul Henry Neuharth Jr

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can not be held responsible for the damages unless you voluntarily assume liability, which you would be foolish to do. Good Luck, Paul Neuharth 619-231-0401

  3. Robert Laurens Driessen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No this is her debt.

    Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated... more
  4. David Philip Shapiro


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . All indications are you should be OK given the fact the offense(s) predated your marriage.

    Law Offices of David Shapiro 3555 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 295-3555
  5. William Peter Daley

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'd have to agree with the others based on the info you provided, no.

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