Recanting a Domestic Violence Statement

Domestic violence is a problem that has been with us for years. Domestic violence usually starts off with a small verbal argument that escalates into a more serious situation that may involve abusive language or physical violence. One of the spouses calls the police and makes a statement about the events that transpired. If the husband and wife makeup, can the victimized spouse recant a domestic violence statement she or he made? We will discuss this in much detail below.

If you or a loved one has been charged with domestic violence and the alleged victim is considering recanting a domestic violence statement, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The H Law Group to represent you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

What Does Recanting a Statement Mean?

In the context of domestic violence, recanting a statement refers to the domestic violence victim taking back her statement or withdrawing it. Recanting a statement is often followed by a domestic violence victim stopping her cooperation with the prosecution. Victims often recant their statements before the defendant goes to trial in order to place pressure on the prosecution to drop the charges against the defendant charged with domestic violence. That said, it’s not uncommon to find a victim who recants her statement during the defendant’s trial.

Victimized Spouse Recanting a Domestic Violence Statement

A spouse that makes a statement to the police about how her husband, boyfriend, former spouse, domestic partner, or cohabitant committed domestic violence will find it difficult to recant (take back) a statement that she made to the police.

This is so because once a spouse makes a statement to the police, her statement is taken and sent to the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor will then make a decision as to whether to pursue the case or not. So, even if the victim recants her statement, the district attorney’s office can still bring misdemeanor or felony charges against the other spouse.

What Happens If the Victimized Spouse Recants Her Statement?

If the victimized spouse recants her statements, the prosecutor can still charge the abusive spouse of domestic violence. That said, although the victimized spouse may refuse to testify against her husband or boyfriend, the prosecution can build its case on other evidence, such as a 911 call that the spouse made to the police, or statement she made to the police upon arrival at the location of the incident.

Also, if there are any injuries, the prosecution may use photo evidence they collected at the scene as evidence against the defendant, as well as the police officer’s observations at the time. To summarize things, although recanting your statement may weaken the prosecution’s case, taking back a statement that you’ve made does not guarantee that the prosecutor will not bring charges against the defendant. This is so because the U.S Supreme Court has held that 911 phone calls are non-testimonial in nature, so introducing them against the defendant is permitted. So, if you or your spouse have been charged with domestic violence, you should contact an experienced Los Angeles Domestic Violence Attorney to represent you and fight for you in court.

What Evidence Can the Prosecution Use If the Victim Recants their Statement?

If a victim recants his or her statements, the prosecution can still move forward with its case and use the following types of evidence:

  • Police reports
  • Photos of injuries to the victim
  • Photos of property damage caused by the defendant
  • Statement or threats made on social media
  • Witnesses to the DV situation
  • Medical records showing injuries for which the victim was treated
  • Recorded 911 call(s)

Most of the time, the prosecution will have enough evidence to off of, however, sometimes the prosecution will not have enough evidence to prosecute the defendant. In situations where a victim changes her story, the case becomes more complicated for the prosecution, especially if there are a number of contradictory statements being made. Nevertheless, if the prosecution has enough evidence it will proceed with its case, and if it does not, it may choose not to seek criminal charges.

Why Do Victims Recant Their Statements?

There is no single why victims recant their statements. Most times, the victim feels bad seeing her boyfriend, spouse, or domestic partner being criminally prosecuted. Other times, the victim may recant her statement because she is in fear that her spouse or boyfriend will cause more violence as a result of being prosecuted or convicted of domestic violence.

Studies have been conducted to examine the reasons why victims recant their statements, some studies found that victims often recant because the defendants plead with the victims to recant (withdraw) their statements by appealing for sympathy from the victim and asking them to recant their statements.

So, if you or a loved one has been charged with domestic violence, you should immediately contact an experienced domestic violence attorney to defend you. You should not take domestic violence charges lightly as a conviction of this crime carries a minimum of 12 months of jail. So, having an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side is imperative to ensure that you do not go to jail for a very long period of time.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with domestic violence and you’re spouse, girlfriend or partner is considering recanting his or her statement, you should immediately contact an experienced statement recanting defense attorney to assist you with your case. Our attorneys have handled hundreds of domestic violence cases, so they have the knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

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Charged with a Crime?


Act now to protect your legal rights.