2022 Georgia Code
Title 24 - Evidence
Chapter 5 - Privileges
§ 24-5-503. Husband and Wife as Witnesses for and Against Each Other in Criminal Proceedings

Universal Citation: GA Code § 24-5-503 (2022)
  1. A husband and wife shall be competent but shall not be compellable to give evidence in any criminal proceeding for or against each other.
  2. The privilege created by subsection (a) of this Code section or by corresponding privileges in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 24-5-501 or subsection (a) of Code Section 24-5-505 shall not apply in proceedings in which:
    1. The husband or wife is charged with a crime against the person of a child under the age of 18, but such husband or wife shall be compellable to give evidence only on the specific act for which the accused is charged;
    2. The husband or wife is charged with a crime against his or her spouse;
    3. The husband or wife is charged with causing physical damage to property belonging to the husband and wife or to their separate property; or
    4. The alleged crime against his or her current spouse occurred prior to the lawful marriage of the husband and wife.

History. Code 1981, § 24-5-503 , enacted by Ga. L. 2011, p. 99, § 2/HB 24; Ga. L. 2012, p. 105, § 1/HB 711.

The 2012 amendment, effective January 1, 2013, substituted the present provisions of subsection (b) for the former provisions, which read: “The privilege created by subsection (a) of this Code section or by corresponding privileges in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 24-5-501 or subsection (a) of Code Section 24-5-505 shall not apply in proceedings in which the husband or wife is charged with a crime against the person of a child under the age of 18, but such husband or wife shall be compellable to give evidence only on the specific act for which the accused is charged.”

Cross references.

Competency of wife to testify against husband in proceeding against husband for abandonment of wife, § 19-10-2 .

Law reviews.

For note, “Circling the Wagons: Informational Privacy and Family Testimonial Privileges,” see 20 Ga. L. Rev. 173 (1985).

For article, “The Marital Privileges in Georgia: What You Should Know,” see 6 Ga. St. B.J. 8 (2001).

For article on the 2012 amendment of this Code section, see 29 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 204 (2012).

For note, “Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws in Georgia: Strengthening Protection for Georgia’s Children,” see 31 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 643 (2015).

For comment, “Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws in Georgia: Strengthening Protection for Georgia’s Children,” see 31 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 643 (2015).

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