The main thing that sets domestic violence cases apart from other types
of assault in Baltimore, Maryland, is that the two parties — both
the alleged assaulter and the accuser — are from the same household.
They may be dating, married or related through paternity.
In these cases, alleged victims will sometimes start out by contacting
the authorities, but then they will seemingly change their minds. They
will withdraw their claims or they might start telling a different story
than the one that they originally told police. They may even begin being
uncooperative. This is called
recanting. Why do people decide to do it?
There are many reasons, but they mostly go back to the complications created
by the two parties being related. In some cases, a victim may just be
doing what they can to make sure that the charges are dropped so that
the other party does not get punished. After all, they care about that
person; they are emotionally invested. What they may have said in the
heat of the moment may not reflect the way that they feel a few days,
weeks or months later.
So, if an accuser decides to recant, does this mean that the case has to
be dropped? In some cases, it may, but not in all. If the prosecution
has enough evidence without the accuser, they may still move toward a
trial, attempting to get a conviction even if they do not have the testimony.
They still have the legal ability to do this.
People who have been accused of violence by others who have then decided
to withdraw their stories must understand what legal impact this can have
on the cases so that they know what they need to do — and whether
or not the charges will still stand — as things move forward.