San Diego Perjury Defense Lawyers
Perjury is a crime that involves concealing information or lying while under oath. Though this crime is often associated with the courtroom, it can encompass a broad variety of situations where someone intentionally obscures the truth in a legal matter. You may be charged with perjury if you are accused of making fake documents, lying on an application, or even providing inaccurate information on your tax returns.
In the state of California, this charge can lead to as much as 4 years in state prison. Because of the serious risk associated with a conviction, you should not face your charges without legal counsel. That is why if you have been charged with perjury in the North County area, you should not hesitate to contact jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000. Our San Diego perjury defense attorney can review your situation and build a strong defense case on your behalf.
The specific definition of perjury is found under California Penal Code 118 PC, but it is technically covered under Penal Code 118-131 PC. This makes the law especially complex for anyone who does not have a thorough understanding of the California justice system. Working with a knowledgeable attorney may be your best chance at preventing a serious conviction.
Perjury, under California law, is the act of stating or presenting information as fact when you know it to be false while under oath. This goes beyond simple lying in casual conversations, stating personal opinions in a courtroom, or providing misinformation that you believe to be the truth. Perjury involves willfully making a statement that could impact a criminal investigation or civil case, whether stated orally or in writing. This means that you can be found guilty of perjury if you falsify information on a legal document, such as an affidavit or certificate.
For the prosecution to successfully convict you of perjury, they must demonstrate that you:
- Took an oath to testify truthfully and knew you were under oath;
- Knew certain information that you would provide was false;
- That information was considered “material,” meaning it could affect court proceedings; and
- You intended to present false information as truth.
Because perjury is an intent crime, your charges are based on whether or not you knew the information you were presenting to the court was false and if you actually intended to mislead the court. If you stated misinformation as fact but did not know that it was false, then you cannot be charged with perjury.
Perjury can occur in cases involving:
- Criminal trial
- Civil trial
- Legal documentation, such as declarations
- Government forms, such as driver licenses applications, government health care applications, or food stamps applications
- Police reports if you are a law enforcement officer
- Authenticating forged documents if you are a public notary
In addition, an individual can be charged with perjury in California if they intended to manipulate another person into providing false information. This can be done with bribery or witness tampering, both of which can lead to serious charges.
Perjury is a felony crime in the state of California that can lead to:
- Up to four years in a state prison; and/or
- A fine of up to $10,000.
A felony conviction lasts far beyond your prison sentence. It can affect your job, your housing situation, and your voting rights. As a felon, you can be denied the right to:
- Own a firearm
- Apply for government jobs
- Travel internationally
- Public assistance
It can also impact any custody battles you are involved in, as civil courts will take into account all felony convictions when determining if you are eligible to care for or even see your child. At the end of the day, a charge of perjury is extremely serious.
It is possible for this crime to be lessened to felony probation instead of having to serve prison time. Probation makes these charges eligible for expungement, but first you must convince a judge that you should receive probation in the first place, and to do that, you will need the aid of a skilled attorney.
Though charges of lying under oath can be frightening, the outcome of these cases is hardly a foregone conclusion. Before someone can be found guilty of perjury, the prosecution must prove that they intentionally provided inaccurate information under oath. Because every situation is unique, there may be many opportunities to defend a client's honor in a given case.
With the aid of a skilled attorney, you may be able to demonstrate that:
- You were not under oath when you gave your statement
- You provided misinformation that you believed was fact
- The information you falsified was not relevant to court proceedings
- You were coerced into providing false information
- You corrected the information you provided in a later statement
- Your statement was true, but misleading given the context of the question
If we can prove that you misunderstood a question or did not remember the circumstances about which you were testifying, we may be able to help you secure a favorable outcome to their case. Likewise, if we can prove that you were not under oath during the event in question, we may be able to get your case dismissed. To learn more about your options in a San Diego perjury case, call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 today!
At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, we have decades of insight and experience to back up our representation. Our founding criminal lawyer, James N. Dicks, has a deep understanding of the court process on account of his extensive history in criminal law. As a result, he is prepared to handle the toughest perjury claims.
When you work with our firm, you can be confident that your case is in good hands:
- We have 30 years of legal experience
- Our founding attorney is a former police detective
- We offer counsel from a board certified criminal law specialist
- We have handled more than 100 criminal trials
We can carefully review your situation to find any discrepancies in the prosecution's case against you and use these weaknesses to develop a strong defense. Our lawyer realizes that conviction for perjury can harm your reputation, career, and freedoms, and offers seasoned counsel to help protect you from the negative consequences of this charge. Although our line of defense depends upon your situation, our priorities do not: we always fight for positive outcomes and fair trials. Rest assured that when you work with our attorney, we will do whatever we can to protect your rights under the law.
If you are ready to fight your charges through strategic defense solutions, be sure to call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney.
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