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How do you retract a statement given to police? Are charges still filed?

Long Beach, CA |

I got into an argument with a friend that resulted in her slapping me. The next day I filed a complaint at our local police station. No more than 30 minutes after doing so, she called to apologize and we talked things over and worked things out. Is it possible to withdraw my police complaint so that this mess doesn't expand any further?

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Attorney answers 4


The report is filed now, and it is unlikely that you can just take it back. You can, however, cal the police and let them know that you don't want them to pursue the matter. Depending on your local jurisdiction's normal procedure, this may or may not get them to back off a criminal case. Usually it will help the person if they do end up getting charged with a crime. It certainly won't hurt. In many jurisdictions they will look at this and say that if you don't care, why should they. In other jurisdictions, the DA
s office might be willing to go forward with the case even though the victim wishes to drop it. Good luck.
David C. Beyersdorf


Your first call should be to the police department (I assume Long Beach PD). Let them know that you are no longer interested in pursuing the matter and ask them not to submit it to the city prosecutor's office for filing. They may close the case and not send it over.

Yes, the prosecution can file charges, even over a victim's desire not to pursue it, but unless this is a case of domestic violence, there's a good chance that it won't be filed or it will be dismissed.


I concur with the two other attorneys who responded, but I have another suggestion:In addition to calling the police officer who took your report, hand deliver a written statement to the P.D. WITH THE POLICE REPORT NUMBER AT THE TOP RIGHT CORNER, and sign and date the statement, stating that you do NOT want the case charged. Hand deliver so that maybe your letter will go with the original report to the D.A., if they do submit it. Time is critical here if you want to stop this train before it leaves the station.


Oh, I forgot to tell you: Do NOT repeat the accusation in writing that she hit you. Don't mention it.