Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer – Privileged Relationships
Many clients come to our office with pending criminal charges and judicial proceedings in which a person close to them has been asked to testify against them. Questions often arise for both defendants and potential witnesses on whether or not they can be compelled by the Prosecutor or Judge to testify against their spouse, client, child, or other person with a special relationship. There are certain special relationships in our society which are protected in the law. This means that in some cases, a witness may be privileged from forced testimony against someone they know or love. If you have any questions regarding specific privileged communications and how they apply, you should consult an experienced Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer at Salcido Law Firm today. Call any time at 801.618.1334.
Can I be forced to testify?
Our society has concluded, and the law recognizes, some relationships are so important the law should not drive a wedge between them. Privileged relationships include but are not limited to:
- Attorney and Client
- Husband and Wife
- Physician and Patient
Society has determined, for good reason, that a husband and wife cannot be compelled to testify against the other. Neither can an attorney against a client, or a physician against his patient. There are some exceptions to these rules so if you have specific questions regarding your case, you should speak with one of our Utah Defense Lawyers as soon as possible.
General Principles Regarding Privileges
Generally speaking, the holder of the privilege is the individual who benefits from the privilege. The holder of the privilege may waive their right not to testify and disclose the communication or consent to disclosure by another. For example, in the doctor/patient privilege, the patient is the holder of the privilege so if the patient is on trial, he or she can prevent the physician from disclosing information communicated to the physician by the patient. The attorney/client privilege works the same way. The husband wife privilege on the other hand varies. In a case where a husband is on trial, the wife is the holder of the privilege. Therefore, if the wife wants to testify she likely can and the husband cannot prevent her testimony based on the marital privilege.
Call us Today – 801.618.1334
If you have questions about privileges such as the husband wife privilege or others communications and special relationships, call and speak with a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney in our office today. We offer free consultations and answer questions for witnesses or the accused. We represent individuals all throughout the State of Utah in criminal matters ranging from a DUI in Utah, Marijuana or other Drug Charges, to Retail Theft and White Collar Crimes. Call us now at 801.892.1787.
You can also email us your questions any time or simply set up a free consultation.