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Harris
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2727
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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Can I use spousal privilege to avoid having to testify against

Resolved Question:

Can I use spousal privilege to avoid having to testify against my wife from whom I've been separated from for nearly 3 years (but not yet divorced)?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question.
Can you explain the situation a bit more and what the issue is about that you may need to testify?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is a criminal matter concerning my wife (who lives in a different address from me). She is currently awaiting trial and I have been sent a letter by the Witness Care Officer notifying me of the potential of me being a witness to a crime she allegedly committed. Frankly I don't want to be involved as I have conflicting emotions about this. Therefore can I use spousal privilege to avoid court even though we've been separated for nearly 3 years?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the further information. If the prosecution are asking you to give evidence against here, you can only be compelled to give evidence against her if it is in relation to domestic violence or sexual abuse or violence against someone under 16.
If she is attempting to call you as a witness she can compel you to do so in her defence.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, so to be clear even though we've been separated for nearly 3 years, I can only be compelled to be a witness on those grounds you outlined? I have not found any information about people who are separated, just those that are married / civil partners.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Yes, you can read about it more here: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/a_to_c/competence_and_compellability/#an07
Separation does not extinguish this, but divorce does.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.
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