Evidence, Spousal Privilege

Criminal Law Update

People v Szabo, 303 Mich App 737; 846 NW2d 412 (2014)(jan’14). Defendant entered the home of his estranged wife armed with a rifle and fired several shots. He was charged with felonious assault and was bound over after his wife testified at his preliminary exam. After he asserted the spousal privilege the trial court dismissed charges. The court of appeals reversed and reinstated charges holding that under the spousal privilege statute, MCL 600.2162(3)(d) there was no privilege in this case since the charges arose from an assault by Defendant on his wife, and thus her testimony against her husband could be compelled. Recent statutory changes led to the conclusion of the court that no statutory privilege exists at all under these circumstances.