Evidence: Privileges: Spousal Privileges

  • Spousal Privileges (Husband-Wife Privilege) – there are two distinct spousal privileges:
    • Spousal Communication Privilege – confidential communication between spouses will be privileged. It may only be waived by both spouses.
    • Spousal Immunity (Spousal Testimony Privilege) – In a criminal case, the prosecution cannot compel the defendant’s spouse to testify against the defendant. It applies so long as the witness and the defendant are currently married, and it may be waived by the witness-spouse.
    • Exceptions which apply to both privileges: These privileges do not cover communications or acts in furtherance of a future crime or fraud; or destructive of family unit.