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What happens if I lied about filing a police report on domestic violence?

Salinas, CA |

I have bruises on my back that are from when I fell in the shower/tub after I slipped on my daughters legos she had in the tub. I told the officer that they were from my daughters father from his punching and stomping on me. I also had two black eyes from getting hit in the lower middle forehead by a softball during a play softball game. I have several witnesses to the softball game, but none to the bruises on my back. I was mad and hurt because my daughter's father had cheated on me with somebody who was supposed to be my friend and he wanted to end our relationship. I wanted him to pay for the pain and suffering he caused me and now he faces 3 felony charges because of the allegations. What do I do? I don't want to get into trouble but in order to do what is right, I think i have to.

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Attorney answers 3


I have faced this situation many times. Unfortunately, the culture in law enforcement and prosecution seems to always "know" that the first report is the true one, so when the "victim" changes the story, they "know" she is lying and the original accusation was true. It is probably possible to make them drop the case against your husband, but it will take stubbornness and perseverance.

As to what will happen to you for admitting you made a false accusation, the idea of being charged with making a false police report is theoretically possible, but in real practice, I have never seen it happen in 35 years of law practice. Prosecutors never, in my experience, prosecute the woman for recanting the accusation. The reason is that they believe that if they did that, "No woman would ever call the police again when she is being beaten, and abused women would have no protection."

So if you lied when you accused him, work with his lawyer. If he does not have a lawyer yet, he needs one. You can call me, as I do accept cases in Salinas. If the case is dismissed, if your husband otherwise had a clean record, he should follow up with a factual innocence petition to clear up his arrest record, as this can hurt his career and many other areas of his life.

You can read further on false Domestic Violence Complaints and factual innocence petitions here:

Finally, you will not be helping by talking further to police and District Attorney investigators. They will only be interested in drawing out of you statements that they can selectively use to prosecute your husband, not in letting you drop the case. You have no control over dropping the case. Only the D.A. can do it, and they will fight it as long as they can. That is why your husband needs a very experienced DV lawyer. Good luck.


I am very familiar with Domestic Violence prosecutions in Monterey County. Given what you have written, it is extremely unlikely that the District Attorney will believe what you are saying now. Rather, they will believe what you said to the police officers, and whatever is written in the police report. Also, if you called 911, they will have that recording will listen to the sound of your voice in that call. If you sound upset, they will be even more convinced that they are right.

You should avoid contact with your daughter's father completely - because no doubt there is a restraining order against him from having any contact with you and even if you initiate the contact you can get him into trouble. On top of that, be aware that they record all jail conversations and the District Attorney always listens to those recordings for further evidence.

If your daughter's father has an attorney you may want to contact that attorney. It is also not uncommon for alleged victims of domestic violence to hire their own attorneys, I have represented people in your situation in the past. This way you can be sure you are protected in case the District Attorney wants to charge you for lying in a police report - although that is very rare.


You probably want to contact your own lawyer. Matt Williamson or Shawn Mills are really good criminal attorneys in the Monterey area who can help representing you in getting charges dismissed. Both post on Avvo and have profiles here.

Edward J. Blum

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