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How do I recant a domestic violence verbal statement?

Redwood City, CA |
Filed under: Domestic violence

Last Sunday, my boyfriend and I were severely intoxicated and got into an argument. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I came out of a momentary blackout on the floor with my nose bleeding. I thought he had hit me, since I remember arguing with him at his doorway. I called 911. When they came, they took pictures and asked me what happened. I told them he hit me. Now that I think back on it, I was drunk and not even sure what happened. I told them I did not want to press charges, but they took him in to custody anyway. He was released 2 hours later without bail and with a court date. I want to know how to recant my statement, since I was severely intoxicated and couldn't even know what was really going on at the time. I don't want him in trouble for me not knowing what happened.

Or how do I get the DA not to press charges. Do i not show up to court? Is that better than showing up and recanting? I really want to fix this, and will do whatever it takes.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

In domestic violence cases, the DA may not be impressed by your desire to recant. This happens a lot - especially when the accused is the sole providing spouse in a family. However, if you really don't remember what happened, you can testify to this - this may equal sufficient reasonable doubt for a jury to not find you guilty - or reversed: your testimony that your injury may have been from something else may make it difficult for the DA to prove your bf guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.. Additionally, under "Marsy's Law" - California Civil Code Section 1219(b), the DA or judge cannot force you to testify if you don't want to. (see link below) Not too long ago, they could lock you up if you wouldn't testify - so this is a fairly new "victim's rights" protection. Talk to your boyfriend's lawyer about these options since you don't want to get your boyfriend in trouble to where he may be charged with dissuading a witness (this can be a felony charge). CADefense.net

This suggestion is not legal advice and in no way should be construed to imply an attorney-client relationship.

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10 comments

Markus Dombois

Markus Dombois

Posted

Note that the DA may threaten you with charges of lying to the police. But if you really don't remember, and were intoxicated at the time, this is highly unlikely.

Asker

Posted

Thank you. he is not a sole provider, we have no kids, are not married, do not live together, and he has zero priors. I just want the DA to drop the case, if possible. I called the DA's office, but they don't have the case at all in their system yet.

R Genyne Long

R Genyne Long

Posted

I, for one, am impressed that you want to make things right, unless you're doing it because of pressure from your boyfriend. Prepare for some skepticism. My colleague, attorneys and DAs have heard this happen before.

Asker

Posted

Thank you. No, he is not pressuring me. It is 100% me wanting to fix this mess.

Asker

Posted

Thank you. No, he is not pressuring me. It is 100% me wanting to fix this mess.

Asker

Posted

Thank you. No, he is not pressuring me. It is 100% me wanting to fix this mess.

Markus Dombois

Markus Dombois

Posted

It take time for the DA to read the police reports - in this case, they may not charge your BF if they determine they don't have sufficient evidence, or it is unreliable.

Asker

Posted

Thank you. Praying the whole things gets thrown out. We just want this nightmare to be over

Asker

Posted

I talked to the arresting officer. He is telling me the DA won't be able to prosecute without my testimony, and since I told him since the incident that I refuse to press charges, the DA will drop the case? Can this be true? It is noted in the report that I refuse to press charges....

Asker

Posted

I talked to the arresting officer. He is telling me the DA won't be able to prosecute without my testimony, and since I told him since the incident that I refuse to press charges, the DA will drop the case? Can this be true? It is noted in the report that I refuse to press charges....

Posted

you are required to appear and testify if you are ordered to appear at trial. I am handling a DV case in Redwood City right now. I would examine you on the stand about how drunk you were, examine the police with how drunk you appeared. However, it may all be for not if you cannot provide a plausible reason for how this happened. Does your boyfriend have any prior criminal history?

Has he been arraigned yet? I would like to give him a free consultation? He can call me at 415-441-1052. Have him call me ASAP.

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Asker

Posted

His court date is supposed to be 1/16/12. No prior history at all. I will give him your number. The police knew I was drunk. They told me to get a cab back to my place, or else I would get a DUI...

Asker

Posted

How did this go? I am facing a similar ordeal with my husband and my extreme intoxication led me to fill out a statement leaving out very important details. The da wouldn't let me recant saying they would prosecute him without me using the police statement and testimony of my demeanor, which was drunk! Lol

Asker

Posted

6 weeks later, and the case is still pending. The police department won't call me back, the DA can't take a statement because that would make her a witness...this is such a mess!!!

Asker

Posted

How did it turn out I'm going Thur similar things and I can't get help on dropping charges

Posted

You should contact the police agency and attempt to give a followup statement. Many times domestic violence cases are automatically assigned to a detective for followup investigation. You should try to contact that person to tell the detective what happened.

You should also go to the local district attorney's office. If they have received the case for review they will allow you to make a statement (usually in writing) to request a dismissal.

The bottom line is that you should be proactive to try to set the record straight. A word of warning: never lie to the police or DA and never minimize what happened. Always tell the truth.

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Asker

Posted

I went to the police station. They told me I have to talk to the arresting officer, who only works weekends, so I have to wait. I then called the DA's office, who won't even speak to me about the case. They refuse to let me add anything, or retract anything, and told me I have to work directly with the police. Is this usual? They won'e even discuss the case with me. I am trying to be extremely proactive, but I keep hitting road blocks. What do I do from here? I left a message with the officer, but he probably won't get it and respond for a couple of days yet.

Asker

Posted

I finally talked to the arresting officer. He said THAT he put in the report that i refuse to press charges and that the DA will look at that and throw it out. without my testimony they have no evidence, and would drop the chares. I sure hope this is true. I asked him if he was telling me the truth and he said he was.....

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