TRE 101: Title & Scope

TRE 102: Purpose and Construction

TRE 103: Rulings on Evidence

TRE 104: Preliminary Questions

TRE 105: Limited Admissibility

TRE 106: Remainder of Writings or Recorded Statements

TRE 107: Texas Rule of Evidence of Optional Completeness

TRE 201: Judicial Notice of Adjudicative Facts

TRE 202: Determination of Law of Other States

TRE 203: Determination of the Laws of Foreign Countries

TRE 204: Determination of Texas City and County Ordinances…

TRE 401: Definition of “Relevant Evidence”

TRE 402: Relevant Evidence Generally Admissible…

TRE 403: Exclusion of Relevant Evidence on Special Grounds

TRE 404: Character Evidence Not Admissible to Prove…

TRE 405: Methods of Proving Character

TRE 406: Habit; Routine Practice

TRE 407: Subsequent Remedial Measures; Notification of Defect

TRE 408: Compromise and Offers to Compromise

TRE 409: Payment of Medical and Similar Expenses

TRE 410: Inadmissibility of Pleas and Related Statements

TRE 411: Liability Insurance

TRE 412: Evidence of Previous Sexual Conduct in Criminal Cases

TRE 412: Privileges Recognized Only as Provided

TRE 412: Required Reports Privileged by Statute

TRE 412: Lawyer-Client Privileges

TRE 412: Spousal Privileges

TRE 412: Communications to Members of the Clergy

TRE 412: Political Vote

TRE 412: Trade Secrets

TRE 412: Identity of Informer

TRE 501: Physician-Patient Privilege

TRE 502: Confidentiality of Mental Health Information in Civil Cases

TRE 503: Waiver of Privilege by Voluntary Disclosure

TRE 504: Privileged Matter Disclosed Under Compulsion

TRE 505: Comment on or Inference From a Privilege Claim; Instruction

TRE 601: Competency and Incompetency of Witnesses

TRE 602: Lack of Personal Knowledge

TRE 603: Oath or Affirmation

TRE 604: Interpreters

TRE 605: Competency of Judge as a Witness

TRE 606: Competency of Juror as a Witness

TRE 607: Who May Impeach a Witness

TRE 608: Evidence of Character and Conduct of a Witness

TRE 609: Impeachment by Evidence of Conviction of Crime

TRE 610: Religious Beliefs or Opinions

TRE 611: Examining Witnesses and Presenting Evidence

TRE 612: Writing Used to Refresh Memory

TRE 613: Prior Statements of Witnesses: Impeachment and Support

TRE 614: Excluding Witnesses

TRE 615: Producing a Witness’s Statement in Criminal Cases

TRE 701: Opinion Testimony by Lay Witnesses

TRE 702: Testimony by Experts

TRE 703: Bases of Opinion Testimony by Experts

TRE 704: Opinion of Ultimate Issue

TRE 705: Disclosure of Facts or Data Underlying Expert Opinion

TRE 706: Audit in Civil Cases

TRE 801: Definitions; Exclusions from Hearsay

TRE 802: Hearsay Rule

TRE 803: Hearsay Exceptions; Availability of Declarant Immaterial

TRE 804: Hearsay Exceptions; Declarant Unavailable

TRE 805: Hearsay Within Hearsay

TRE 806: Attacking and Supporting Credibility of Declarant

TRE 901: Authenticating or Identifying Evidence

TRE 902: Evidence That Is Self-Authenticating

TRE 903:Subscribing Witness’s Testimony

TRE 1001: Definitions That Apply to This Article

TRE 1002: Requirement of the Original

TRE 1003: Admissibility of Duplicates

TRE 1004: Admissibility of Other Evidence of Content

TRE 1005: Copies of Public Records to Prove Content

TRE 1006: Summaries to Prove Content

TRE 1007: Testimony or Statement of a Party to Prove Content

TRE 1008: Functions of Court and Jury

TRE 1009: Translating a Foreign Language Document


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Rule 504: Husband-Wife Privileges

(a) Confidential Communication Privilege.

(1) Definition. A communication is “confidential” if a person makes it privately to the person’s spouse and does not intend its disclosure to any other person.

(2) General Rule. A person has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing a confidential communication made to the person’s spouse while they were married. This privilege survives termination of the marriage.

(3) Who May Claim. The privilege may be claimed by:

(A) the communicating spouse;

(B) the guardian of a communicating spouse who is incompetent; or

(C) the personal representative of a communicating spouse who is deceased.

The other spouse may claim the privilege on the communicating spouse’s behalf—and is presumed to have authority to do so.

(4) Exceptions. This privilege does not apply:

(A) Furtherance of Crime or Fraud. If the communication is made—wholly or partially—to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit a crime or fraud.

(B) Proceeding Between Spouse and Other Spouse or Claimant Through Deceased Spouse. In a civil proceeding:

(i) brought by or on behalf of one spouse against the other; or

(ii) between a surviving spouse and a person claiming through the deceased spouse.

(C) Crime Against Family, Spouse, Household Member, or Minor Child. In a:

(i) proceeding in which a party is accused of conduct that, if proved, is a crime against the person of the other spouse, any member of the household of either spouse, or any minor child; or

(ii) criminal proceeding involving a charge of bigamy under Section 25.01 of the Penal Code.

(D) Commitment or Similar Proceeding. In a proceeding to commit either spouse or otherwise to place the spouse or the spouse’s property under another’s control because of a mental or physical condition.

(E) Proceeding to Establish Competence. In a proceeding brought by or on behalf of either spouse to establish competence.

(b) Privilege Not to Testify in a Criminal Case.

(1) General Rule. In a criminal case, an accused’s spouse has a privilege not to be called to testify for the state. But this rule neither prohibits a spouse from testifying voluntarily for the state nor gives a spouse a privilege to refuse to be called to testify for the accused.

(2) Failure to Call Spouse. If other evidence indicates that the accused’s spouse could testify to relevant matters, an accused’s failure to call the spouse to testify is a proper subject of comment by counsel.

(3) Who May Claim. The privilege not to testify may be claimed by the accused’s spouse or the spouse’s guardian or representative, but not by the accused.

(4) Exceptions. This privilege does not apply:

(A) Certain Criminal Proceedings. In a criminal proceeding in which a spouse is charged with:

(i) a crime against the other spouse, any member of the household of either spouse, or any minor child; or

(ii) bigamy under Section 25.01 of the Penal Code.

(B) Matters That Occurred Before the Marriage. If the spouse is called to testify about matters that occurred before the marriage.

Notes and Comments

Comment to 1998 change: The rule eliminates the spousal testimonial privilege for prosecutions in which the testifying spouse is the alleged victim of a crime by the accused. This is intended to be consistent with Code of Criminal Procedure article 38.10, effective September 1, 1995.

Comment to 2015 Restyling: Previously, Rule 504(b)(1) provided that, “A spouse who testifies on behalf of an accused is subject to cross-examination as provided in Rule 611(b).” That sentence was included in the original version of Rule 504 when the Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence were promulgated in 1986 and changed the rule to a testimonial privilege held by the witness spouse. Until then, a spouse was deemed incompetent to testify against his or her defendant spouse, and when a spouse testified on behalf of a defendant spouse, the state was limited to cross-examining the spouse about matters relating to the spouse’s direct testimony. The quoted sentence from the original Criminal Rule 504(b) was designed to overturn this limitation and allow the state to cross-examine a testifying spouse in the same manner as any other witness. More than twenty-five years later, it is clear that a spouse who testifies either for or against a defendant spouse may be cross-examined in the same manner as any other witness. Therefore, the continued inclusion in the rule of a provision that refers only to the cross-examination of a spouse who testifies on behalf of the accused is more confusing than helpful. Its deletion is designed to clarify the rule and does not change existing law.

Relevant Cases 

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