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A recanted statement doesn’t always stop domestic violence charges

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Domestic violence is one of the most common violent crimes prosecuted in Oklahoma. When people who have pursued a romantic relationship (in the present or the past) and/or those bound by marriage or blood get into conflicts, tempers may flare. If actual violence occurs, the state may intervene by arresting and prosecuting the party who seems to be the aggressor.

Sometimes, people get arrested for altercations that occur in public. Other times, neighbors or passers-by may overhear something without context and involve the authorities. Police officers arriving to assess a domestic violence call are often very skeptical both of the possibility of fabricated allegations and the possibility that a victim won’t cooperate with them.

If there are indicators that physical violence took place, police officers might decide to arrest someone. Occasionally, the other person involved will make statements that contribute to the police deciding to arrest someone. They might later want to recant those statements to prevent the state from prosecuting the other party. Ultimately, however, recanted statements by victims often won’t stop the prosecution process.

The state often tries to build a case without the victim

The worst cases of domestic violence involve recurring disputes that leave one person seriously injured. These situations may progress over time and sometimes result in homicide. Therefore, the state sometimes becomes quite zealous in its attempts to intervene in scenarios that appear to be dangerous for someone.

Statements made by witnesses or neighbors, medical records and the report drafted by the police can sometimes provide enough documentation for prosecutors to pursue charges regardless of whether the victim will cooperate with the prosecutor or not. Therefore, those responding to domestic violence charges will need to develop a different strategy if they hope to avoid a conviction and all of the consequences that it might carry.

Some of the strategies people might use could include providing alternate explanations for injuries, building a claim that what police documented was reactive abuse or challenging the legality of the evidence gathered by the state. Reviewing the evidence that the prosecution will present in court is often a good starting point for those hoping to fight back against domestic violence charges in Oklahoma.