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Facts About Spousal Privilege in Maryland

Have you ever wondered if your spouse could testify against you in Maryland? If so, you should know that there is a protection in place that can be invoked called spousal privilege, also known as marital privilege. Under Maryland law, your spouse can decline to testify against you under spousal privilege if they’ve been asked to testify in a criminal proceeding. If you face domestic violence allegations or criminal charges and your spouse is called to testify against you, they may qualify for spousal privilege. Under spousal privilege, they are not legally obligated to testify against you, so long as your case meets the requirements of Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 9-106

What is Spousal Privilege?

If you’re married and your spouse is called to testify against you, they may be able to invoke spousal privilege. Spousal privilege grants them the right to decline to testify against you under certain circumstances, particularly in domestic violence or assault cases. For one particular case that Albers & Associates worked on, we advised our clients to invoke spousal privilege to not testify against one another. By invoking spousal privilege, the client was able to have a judgment of acquittal granted by the court.

When Can Spousal Privilege Not Be Invoked?

In some cases, spousal privilege may not be invoked. Spousal privilege may not be invoked or granted in Maryland if the case involves abuse of a minor child, if the defendant was previously charged with assault against their spouse, or if the spouse previously refused to testify against the spouse under spousal privilege. If none of these circumstances apply to your case, your spouse may invoke spousal privilege and the state cannot force them to testify against you. 

Will Refusal to Testify Be Placed on Record?

If you invoke spousal privilege, your refusal to testify will be placed on permanent record within the court system. This goes on record so that if your spouse is charged with domestic violence or assault against you in the future, you will not be able to invoke spousal privilege again. However, your refusal to testify will not be placed on public record. 


Albers & Associates is your experienced legal team. If your license has been suspended, you can depend on our expert legal counsel located in Carroll County, MD. We can diligently advocate on your behalf for the best possible legal outcome. Contact our legal team for a consultation today or give us a call at (443) 272-4312.