What Is Perjury in a Criminal Case?

There are many things that juries and judges base decision on when it comes to a criminal case. The evidence is only one of the aspects that is considered. A big part of the decisions that are made are based on testimonies and statements made regarding the case. This is why telling the truth and sticking to the facts is so important in criminal cases. In fact, it is so important that if you lie under oath, you can face additional criminal charges for perjury.

What is perjury?

Perjury occurs when you make untruthful statements under oath. This can occur in an oral testimony, a written statement, a signed statement or any other form of testimony that is entered into the court record. It is important to note that you must knowingly mislead the court when you make a statement in order for it to be considered perjury. When a testimony is made in good faith, it isn't considered perjury.

What are the penalties for perjury?

The penalties for perjury depend on where the perjury occurs. Federal courts and state courts have penalties for perjury. Generally, the penalties can involve incarceration and fines. For example, if you are found guilty of perjury in a federal case, you can face up to 5 years in prison.

If you have been accused of perjury, it can have an impact on your life in more ways than you might imagine. It can affect your freedom, as well as your professional life. You should make sure that you understand all the options you have for dealing with these charges.

Source: FindLaw, "Perjury," accessed March 18, 2016

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