Bronx Perjury Lawyer
Courts have the power to summon witnesses to testify under oath in many kinds of legal proceedings, and all such witnesses have an obligation to do so truthfully. Any failure to do so is known as perjury and is a serious criminal offense.
Obtaining a conviction for perjury can be very difficult for a prosecutor, as they must prove not only that the defendant made a false statement but also that the defendant did so intentionally. Simply making a mistake in an official statement does not fit this definition.
A Bronx perjury lawyer could help if you are facing criminal accusations of perjury. Perjury cases can arise from conduct in existing criminal trials, during family law disputes, or even when filing taxes or other government documents, but a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney could help protect your freedom when facing any of these accusations.
The Legal Definition of Perjury
New York Penal Law §210.05 states that a person commits perjury when they “swear falsely.” NYPL §210.00(5) specifically defines this act as “intentionally making a false statement which [a person] does not believe to be true (a) while giving testimony, or (b) under oath in a subscribed written instrument.”
In other words, a person may face accusations of perjury if they give a statement they know to be false while under legal oath. This scenario may occur while they are serving as a witness in a court proceeding, providing written evidence to a court, or even filing taxes or applying for a government-backed loan.
An important concept in all perjury cases is the idea of intent. It is not enough for a prosecutor to show that a defendant simply made a false statement—they must also prove that the defendant did so intentionally. Therefore, a defendant who—for instance—is genuinely confused as to the date of an alleged incident does not commit perjury by providing the wrong date in court testimony. A Bronx perjury attorney could help an individual defendant better understand what it means to commit perjury under the law.
Consequences for a Perjury Conviction
The severity of punishments that may be levied for perjury convictions vary based on the context in which the defendant commits the offense. A perjury lawyer in The Bronx could help defend someone accused of any level of perjury that may jeopardize their freedom.
The simplest version of perjury is perjury in the third degree, a class A misdemeanor. According to NYPL §210.05, this charge applies when no aggravating factors are present in a perjury case.
The next level of this offense is perjury in the second degree, which NYPL §210.10 defines as a class E felony. This type of perjury involves a person intentionally providing false information on a written statement where an oath is required by law, in a way meant to deceive a public official or a way which is material to a court matter.
Finally, perjury in the first degree is the most severe version of this offense. As per NYPL §210.15, this charge applies to cases of perjury that occur while giving direct testimony and is classified as a class D felony.
A Bronx Perjury Lawyer May Be Able to Help
Allegations of perjury can often be disorienting, as you may believe you gave your best possible answer during testimony or that information provided on official documents was correct to the best of your knowledge. Still, if prosecutors believe you intentionally misled a court or government body, they could file charges alleging perjury.
Any conviction for perjury has the potential to result in a jail sentence. As such, it is essential that you understand the potential consequences and formulate a defense to protect themselves. A Bronx perjury lawyer could help with this process by working to examine the documents or testimony in question and contest the prosecutor’s case that you intentionally misled the court. Call today to schedule an initial consultation and get started on your case.