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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

  1. Best answer

    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).

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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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