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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27747
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Can a member of a household testify against the other?

Customer Question

A girlfriend who was staying with me has charged me with assault. Is there a defense that says a member of a household cannot testify against me?
I have been charged 2 counts of 2nd degree assault. This is in Maryland.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


No, there is not. There is a spousal privilege that under many circumstances can keep one spouse from testifying against another. But even if your girlfriend is married to you, the privilege does not apply when the testimony is regarding an incident of domestic violence.

In short, unfortunately, if your girlfriend wants to have you prosecuted and is willing to cooperate with the district attorney to try to ensure your conviction, she will be able to testify against you and, if believed beyond a reasonable doubt, can also accomplish getting you convicted.