Pittsburgh Perjury Defense Lawyer
Did You Lie While Under Oath?
Perjury is defined as the criminal act of making a false statement during
a judicial proceeding after one has taken the oath to speak only the truth.
The basic elements of perjury are: 1) a false statement is made under
oath or the equivalent affirmation during a judicial proceeding, 2) the
false statement must be relevant to the proceeding, and 3) the witness
must have had the intent to deceive.
In the majority of states and under federal law, the punishment for perjury
involves a fine, imprisonment, or both. In Pennsylvania, the crime of
perjury is covered under: Perjury – 19 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4902,
and is as follows:
- The offense is defined as a felony in the third degree if during any official
proceeding the person makes a false statement while under oath or equivalent
affirmation, or swears or affirms the truth of a statement made earlier,
when the previous statement is material and he or she does not believe
it to be true.
- When someone makes a false statement, it is considered to be material (having
relevance on a case), regardless of the admissibility of the statement,
if the statement could affect the outcome of the course or the outcome
of the proceeding.
Penalties for Committing Perjury
The criminal offense of perjury in Pennsylvania is a third degree felony.
Under Title 18, Crimes and Offenses, Chapter 11, Sections 1101 and 1103,
a third degree felony is punishable by $15,000 in fines and up to seven
years in prison.
When people make statements that are considered an interpretation of fact,
the statements are not considered perjury due to the fact that people
have a tendency to draw inaccurate conclusions unwittingly, or they can
make honest mistakes without the intention to deceive.
In criminal proceedings, witnesses have been known to have mistaken beliefs
about facts of a case, or their recollection can be foggy, or they can
simply recall things inaccurately, as many of us do as time goes by. In
order to be convicted of perjury, the person must have had the intention (mens rea) to deceive the court, and they must have actually committed said act (actus reus). Additionally, if one states facts they cannot be considered perjury,
even if there are omissions, nor is it perjury to lie about matters that
are not material to the legal proceedings. In addition to the crime of
perjury, attempting to get someone else to perjure themselves is considered
a crime in itself.
Pittsburg Criminal Lawyer: Defense Against Perjury Charges
Our criminal system takes lying under oath very seriously, so much that
the offense of perjury can entail $15,000 in fines, up to seven years
in prison and a permanent criminal record. If you or someone you love
is facing perjury charges, it is absolutely vital that you enlist the
services of a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney from Frank Walker Law.
We understand quite well that people can make innocent mistakes while
on the stand; however, you don't want such mistakes to destroy your
reputation, your career and your family.
We care about our clients and we care about the outcome of your criminal
proceedings, what we do here in now can literally make or break your case.
Please take a moment to contact our firm to schedule a private one-on-one
consultation with our attorney. We will work tirelessly behind the scenes
to exhaust every resource to ensure that you stand the best possible chance
of obtaining a favorable outcome in the charges against you. Don't
invest your trust in the weak leadership of a public defender, contact
Frank Walker Law today.