Perjury is defined as lying under oath. Perjury is a very serious crime and one that requires immediate legal assistance. Perjury can apply to both the spoken word and the written word. For example, you may perjure yourself if you make false statements after taking an oath to tell the truth. You may also perjure yourself if you sign a document that contains false information.
Perjury isn’t confined just to lying in court; however, that is certainly one of the most common types of perjury. Perjury can also apply to statements made under oath in civil matters, such as a civil affidavit. It also applies to trying to influence someone else’s testimony by trying to get them to commit perjury.
Some common examples of perjury include:
- Lying while testifying in a trial
- Claiming the incorrect income in a divorce or child support case.
- Making contradictory statements under oath.
- Lying on a driver’s license application
- Making statements you know to be untrue when signing a loan application
- Failure to disclose facts in a sworn statement
In order to convict you of perjury, the prosecutor must be able to prove that you knowingly provided false information under oath or that you signed a sworn statement that you knew contained false information. There are varying penalties for someone convicted of perjury. In many cases, perjury is just one of several charges that you may be facing in conjunction with just one act.
The penalties for perjury range from no prison time to four years in prison. If you are a first time offender with a clean criminal record you will often be placed on probation and fined but given no jail sentence. Here are some of the penalties that can be applied when convicted of perjury.
- Jail time up to 4 years
- Restitution and fines
- Community service
Perjury charges are serious and a conviction will negatively impact your life for many years to come. A perjury conviction will reduce your ability to get loans and credit cards, and even employment. If you are facing perjury charges, contact a qualified criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. An experienced attorney will work aggressively to defend you against this type of charge.