A recant is simply taking back as untrue part or all of some facts that you have told to police. Because of the unique nature of domestic relationships recants tend to be very common.
In domestic violence cases, victims and witnesses often recant for many reasons. A person recanting a statement should be mindful of some things:
1) Perjury – If the statement a victim recants was made under oath and is then recanted, you can be charged for perjury. Perjury is a very serious charge with long lasting consequences.
2) KGB Statement – If the statement to be recanted was made under oath and videotaped, it can still be used in some cases even if it is recanted.
3) Making a false statement – lying to police by providing a false statement is a crime.
4) Independent legal advice – If you are considering recanting a statement it is very important that you talk to an independent lawyer (a lawyer that does not represent the other side) to make sure you are not breaking any laws.
5) Victims sometimes contact their accused partners to recant. This is not a good idea because if the accused person communicates back he or she can be charged with breaching a no contact order. The courts often make exceptions to no contact orders, to allow contact through a criminal defence lawyer. Anyone who is thinking of recanting a statement should speak to a criminal lawyer first. Likewise if a victim contacts an accused person to recant, the accused should contact a lawyer.
6) Just because a complainant recants a previous statement to the police does not mean that the charges against the accused will be dropped or withdrawn. The prosecutor is the only person that decides whether or not a charge will be prosecuted. For more information on how domestic violence charges against an accused person can be dropped read here.