How to Recant a Police Report

The investigator handling your case will want to hear the reasons you are withdrawing your initial complaint.
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You were angry, frustrated and wanted justice, so you filed a complaint with law enforcement. But then you changed your mind, and now you want to withdraw the complaint. Recanting a police report can be accomplished, but it can also bring about some legal troubles.

Call or meet with the investigator who is handling your police report. If the case has not been assigned, contact the officer who took your initial report.

Explain the reason for recanting your report. If you are altering your statement, let him know how you would like to amend the information. If you want to completely withdraw the complaint, explain why.

Read More: Penalty for Filing a False Police Report

Document new allegations. If you are changing your original report but want to continue pursuing charges, provide details of your new or amended allegations.

Sign your statement. If you provide an updated statement, read it before you sign it, then keep a copy.

Be prepared to face criminal charges. If you have filed false information, you might be charged. Seek the advice of an attorney.


  • Depending on your situation, you could face criminal charges for filing a false report to law enforcement. It is wise to consult an attorney before speaking to law enforcement, if you are recanting your original statement.


  • If someone is threatening you to force you to recant a police report, tell authorities immediately.
  • In some cases, law enforcement will not withdraw a complaint after it has been filed. Be prepared for this, and give honest testimony if the case goes to court.

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