Supporting and Protecting a Spouse Accused of a Crime
August 23, 2021
If your spouse is accused of a crime, the effects can be earth-shattering for you and your family. Suddenly, the future can seem very uncertain for both of you, and you may even feel concerned about being implicated in the crime yourself. Many aspects of your lives are suddenly at risk, placing both you and your spouse in a very stressful situation.
He knows there are a few very important things to know if your spouse has been accused of a crime. These tips aren’t just important for supporting your spouse through the arrest and criminal trial process; they’re essential for legally protecting both of you, plus your family and assets, through that process.
The most important thing to remember when your spouse is on trial is your right to spousal privilege. This is a kind of federal protection which works in two ways:
Spousal testimonial privilege: This prevents you from having to testify against your spouse in a criminal trial.
Marital communications privilege: This means you can keep all communications between yourself and your spouse confidential. You won’t have to provide testimony about those communications in court.
Any information you may know that could further implicate your spouse in the crime they’re accused of wouldn’t have to be given to the prosecution team or mentioned by you during the trial. This prevents you from placing them at greater risk of a guilty verdict, but it also protects you against contempt charges if you don’t want to testify, or perjury if you don’t intend to provide truthful information that would incriminate your spouse.
You’ll still need to be careful to make sure that this privilege remains intact. It exists between you and your spouse, but not with anyone else; avoid talking about the details of the case with other people, other than your spouse’s attorney. This is especially important to remember when speaking with government officials or prosecutors.
Even when talking about the case with your spouse, you’ll still need to be very careful. When a criminal investigation is underway, there’s a strong chance your phones, computers and other communication devices may be actively monitored. This is especially likely in situations like white-collar crimes, and if you’d like some tips more specifically related to those, take a look at this Forbes article.
Protecting Shared Assets
Regardless of how careful you are about your communications with your spouse regarding the case, there are other considerations you need to take into account.
Similarly to your communications, your funds and assets may also be monitored during this time for any suspicious movement. Don’t make an attempt to hide anything in an effort to protect it; this is more likely to just put those assets, and yourself, at greater risk.
It may be especially important to hire your own attorney to help protect your shared and personal assets during the course of the investigation and trial, depending on the nature and severity of the crime. They can give you detailed guidance on how to keep those assets as legally safe as possible from potential risks such as government forfeiture.
Let Us Help
If your spouse has been accused of a crime, you need experienced legal guidance to support them in a practical way that’ll keep both of you protected. Tampa federal defense attorney Anthony Candela is ready and able to give you that guidance, as he’s done for many couples in the same situation already. Schedule a consultation with him now.