Chino, CA asked in Domestic Violence for California

Q: I called police falsely claiming dv on my fiance when we were arguing. I said he hit me but I fell earlier to get injury

We just got notice that the DA is picking up the case. He wasn't arrested at the scene and hasn't been questioned on his side of story. I feel horrible because I was drunk and upset and he didn't do anything violent. How can I help prove he's innocent? I told police I didn't want to press charges.

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1 Lawyer Answer
David A. Brooks
David A. Brooks
  • Domestic Violence Lawyer
  • Fair Oaks, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It isn't up to you whether charges are brought. It isn't a civil case where you are suing someone. A criminal case is the State against someone. It also isn't the police that brings charges. The police provide police reports to the DA, and the DA decides whether or not to file a criminal case.

If you lied to the police, you may be guilty of a crime for making a false police report. You should consult with a lawyer. Any statement you make to anyone other than your lawyer regarding the case can be used against you. If you are called to testify you may have a 5th Amendment Right against self incrimination as well as a right to a lawyer.

The DA is used to victims of domestic violence deciding that nothing happened. Your switch of position might not be believed because it happens all the time. The totality of the evidence (including presence or absence of physical evidence) is considered when evaluating a "recanting victim" who decides nothing happened.

If you want to say you lied, even though the statement might be used against you, you can contact your fiancee's attorney. The attorney will likely have you interviewed by an investigator to avoid becoming a witness themselves. You could contact the Victim/Witness department of the DA's office and let them know. In CA, a victim has the right to address the court directly and you could do that.

You really ought to be represented by a lawyer before you make a decision, and that lawyer will want to try to obtain a copy of the police report before you are advised.

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