How to Successfully Recant a Domestic Violence Statement

Last Modified: January 27, 2023
January 27, 2023 | Rabin Nabizadeh | Domestic Violence

How to successfully recant a domestic violence statement
Domestic violence is a problematic situation. Numerous cases of domestic violence take place within a family unit. As a result, the legal process can be messy. In some situations, someone may accuse a family member of domestic violence, only to try to recant their statement later.

What does this mean? How is a domestic violence statement recanted, and what impact does this have on the legal process?

What Does It Mean to Recant a Statement?

In the legal system, recanting a statement means withdrawing or taking it back. Therefore, if someone makes a statement claiming to be a domestic violence victim and decides to retract that statement down the road, they are effectively withdrawing the accusation.

Recanting a domestic violence statement typically means the alleged victim will stop cooperating with the prosecution. Usually, retracting a domestic violence statement takes place before the trial starts, but it can also occur during the trial.

Why Does an Alleged Victim Recant Their Domestic Violence Statement?

Why does an alleged victim recant their domestic violence statement

There are several reasons why an alleged victim may decide to recant their statement. Sometimes, they retract the information because they do not realize the consequences the other person would face. They may feel bad that their husband, boyfriend, or family member is facing a lengthy prison sentence, so they decide to recant the statement, feeling that their family member or significant other has already suffered enough.

In other situations, the person accused of domestic violence may apologize to the alleged victim. Sometimes, that is all the alleged victim wanted, and the victim decides not to move forward with the case.

Of course, there were also situations where a person could recant his statements because of a misunderstanding. Maybe it was an accident and not intentional, so the alleged victim withdrew the original statement.

Can the Prosecution Still Continue With the Domestic Violence Charges Even if the Statement Was Recanted?

Yes. The prosecution could continue with domestic violence charges even if the victim recanted his statement. However, the case will become more challenging without a victim who cooperates.

The prosecution can use examples of evidence to move forward with the case. A few examples include the following:

  • The original police report;
  • Any photographs of the injuries taken;
  • Any witnesses who may have seen the situation unfold;
  • Possible threats made using text messages, emails, or social media;
  • Pictures of property damage at the scene of the incident;
  • Medical records that detail the injuries the victim may have suffered; or
  • Any recorded phone calls, such as 911 calls. 

The case’s strength will hang on to the evidence above. The prosecution will have a difficult time proving its case if there are a lot of contradictory statements. As a result, the prosecution may decide to drop the case altogether.

Effects of Recanting a Statement To Domestic Violence Cases

Effects of recanting a statement to domestic violence cases

The effects of a victim recanting his original statement to the police can significantly impact a domestic violence case. If the victim refuses to testify at the trial, the prosecution may have difficulty winning its case. The jury will look at the rest of the evidence with skepticism, as there is no verbal statement to put with the evidence.

Even if the prosecution decides to use the original statement, the defense attorney will point out that the victim recanted that statement down the road. It will make it very difficult for the prosecution to win its case, but they may still have a lot of evidence, such as the examples above.

For example, the prosecution may use the original 911 phone call at the trial. Working with a defense attorney who understands how to examine the evidence and ensure all sides of the case are considered carefully is essential.

Consequences of Recanting a Statement

Consequences of recanting a statement

In addition, the person who recants his statement might face significant consequences. They include:




The Risk of Perjury

There is a chance that the prosecution may try to put pressure on the alleged victim to continue with the case. For example, the prosecution may threaten the alleged victim with a perjury risk if he recants his statement.

Perjury is serious because it involves lying under oath. The consequences can be severe, so the prosecution may use the threat of perjury charges to coerce the alleged victim into continuing with his case.

Providing False Statement

Even if the prosecution does not threaten perjury, they could threaten other charges. For example, they may claim that the alleged victim must have been providing a false statement if they decide to recant the original statement. This crime could have severe consequences.

It is another reason why it might be prudent for a domestic violence victim to speak with a defense attorney before deciding to recant his statement. That way, the process proceeds as smoothly as possible and minimizes the risk of facing criminal charges.

Domestic Violence Charges Are Not Automatically Dropped

It is also vital for alleged victims to understand that domestic violence charges are not automatically dropped just because someone recants his statement. It is essential to understand the risks above and remember that it is up to the prosecution to decide whether to continue the case after the victim recants the original statement to the police officer.

The district attorney’s office may still have a strong case without the original statement. The strength of the case will hinge on the other evidence, which is why it is essential to consider all aspects of the case before moving forward. That is why our team is here to help you navigate the criminal justice system.

Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorney for Assistance

Contact our domestic violence attorney for assistance

If you or someone you know is facing charges of domestic violence from physical violence, the potential consequences can be severe. It will be best if you reach out to a defense attorney as soon as possible who can review the case and discuss your options with you.

At Summit Defense, we have more than 120 years of combined experience defending against various accusations. We would be pleased to provide you with a case consultation and ensure to protect your rights. Give us a call today to speak to a team member, and let us provide you with the legal defense you deserve.



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