First of all, the accuser doesn’t have the right to decide whether the charges are filed or not filed, whether the court presses charges or not. They have the right to decide whether to make the report to law enforcement, but once the report’s made to law enforcement, the decision to prosecute is out of their hands. That’s not to say that their thoughts and desires aren’t considered, but depending on the circumstances and the types of case involved, recanting is very common. There are many reasons why people recant, and sometimes they are beneficial to the defense. Sometimes, somebody recants because they really were being dishonest. But the fact of the recantation doesn’t really change the prosecutor’s position on it. It can ultimately affect how well the case turns out in court, but whether it goes forward or not is probably not going to change a prosecutor’s mind, because it’s common.
As an aside, in domestic violence case, which we handle a lot of here and which we have a lot of experience in, the idea that the alleged victim will recant happens the majority of the time. It’s very important that you have a lawyer that knows how to deal with that. The fact that there’s a recant does not mean that the charges are just going to be dropped in any type of case. It just means it’s one fact among many that are considered in how to defend the case. It takes a good deal of experience to know how to negotiate the minefield of the recanting witness in domestic violence cases, sex crimes, or any other case. Experienced California Sexual Assault lawyers understand all the complications associated with sex crime cases in Oakland, CA.