What if my wife just says she made it all up?

A question I receive a lot from current or prospective clients is what will happen to their CDV case if their wife (or other household member) calls the police\prosecutor\court and advises them that they were angry and made up the story.

My first response is that as a criminal defense attorney I would never hesitate to use such an admission or any other evidence that the allegations against my client were false as necessary to defend my client. But the changing or recanting of the story will not result in the charges being dismissed because of the no drop policy. Further these sorts of efforts can constitute Contempt of Court or other serious crimes. In the right circumstance both the original CDV defendant and the witness could be charged with multiple felonies for carrying out this type of plan.

If the alleged victim later recants their story on the basis that they intentionally provided false information to law enforcement they admitting that they are guilty of a separate crime. Pursuant to S.C. Code § 16-17-725 anyone who makes a false statement to law enforcement is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to thirty days in jail. This is one of those offenses that people are regularly charged with in South Carolina.

If the alleged victim comes to Court and testifies that they are recanting their story, but their testimony is not considered credible by the prosecutor, they can also be charged with perjuryPerjury in South Carolina is a felony and pursuant to S.C. Code § 16-9-10 can carry up to five years imprisonment.

Further if there is evidence that the original CDV defendant and the alleged victim conspired together to present false testimony then they could be charged with Criminal Conspiracy. Pursuant to S. C. Code § 16-17-410 this is a felony that carries up to five years imprisonment.

If there is evidence that the CDV defendant urged the witness to come to Court and change their story to a version not agreed upon by the prosecutor then they could alone be charged with Solicitation to Commit a Felony. Pursuant to S.C. Code § 16-1-40 this is a felony and punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

As you can see fighting a CDV arrest is not as easy as just getting someone to change their story. CDV prosecutors and Courts play "fast pitch" with these cases. If you have been arrested for CDV and want to avoid a conviction it is important for you to consult with a  CDV defense attorney as soon as possible. You can contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, at (803) 359-3301 to schedule an in office consultation about your case.

Categories: Domestic Violence
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