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Can i retract a statement given to the police if i was under extreme duress when it was given

Fox Lake, IL |

i got into an argument with my boyfriend i had been sick for over a week extremely stressed recently found out i was pregnant. someone called the cops i don't remember everything from that night my blood pressure was 197 over 50 and i was upset crying and confused the cop took a written statement after being in the house for what i found out to be 2 hours before he took me to the hospital they said that i said my boyfriend choked me shoved his finger in my throat and kicked me i don't remember any of it but my bf has never been abusive the cop just kept handing me paper after paper to sign i didn't even get a chance to read them the marks they say are from him are from my 17 month old he hit me with his sippy cup and the mark on my arm is from holding him

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Attorney answers 4


I would consult with a lawyer who handles these types of matters.

While a statement made to police will remain in the report, there are certainly ways to retract or disavow what you said, and the reasons you give would be among the ways that one could claim a statement was not accurate.
Unfortunately, that also leaves you in a position of disagreeing with yourself, which does not make you a reliable witness.

Again, don't do a thing until you talk to a lawyer and probably a counselor. There are so many other issues here I don't even want to touch them.

Good luck!

Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Chicago, IL

This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.


If the state elects to prosecute your boyfriend, and you testify inconsistently with your written statement, the state can the introduce the statement into evidence. The trier of fact (judge or jury) will then decide whether you in fact made the statement, and what weight it should be accorded in considering all of the evidence. He needs a lawyer.


There is no way to "retract," or delete, your statement. That statement will likely be included in the police report and used in a criminal case against your boyfriend related to the alleged incident. With that said, you'll still certainly have the opportunity to explain what REALLY happened, as you've done here, in order to help your boyfriend's cause. We recently handled a similar case, and when the girlfriend's story changed - from claiming assault by her boyfriend to admitting nothing really happened, the government gave in and dismissed the case against our client. All you can do at this point is tell the truth of what happened, including the explanation for why the cops have that written statement. If charges are brought, you'll likely hear from both the government and your boyfriend's lawyer. I hope I've helped.

John M. Eccher

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The simple answer is yes. The correct answer is much more complicated. You should consult with an attorney before saying anythign to the police, but do so as quickly as possible. It would be inappropriate to rely on your boyfriend's lawyer's advice, but there is no legal reason you cannot give them a statement. But, again, first talk to your own attorney.

The police and prosecutors will expect you to change your statement. They see it all the time in domestic violence cases. Frankly, they assume if you do not recant, it means your boyfriend is guilty and if you do recant, your boyfriend is guilty.

Talk to a lawyer. If there are legitimate reasons why your first statement should not be relied on, he or she will be able to help you to explain them and more importantly, to explain why you were not intentionally giving a false statement to the police, which is a crime.

Lastly, do not change your story just to help your boyfriend.

Any comments offered are not intended as legal advice. This attorney does not know the specifics of the particular case sufficiently to offer legal advice. You should hire a lawyer who can evaluate the details of your specific situation before offering advice.

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