Lying while testifying before a court or filing a legally admissible statement is a criminal offense. Depending on the circumstances, perjury charges can lead to significant fines and prison time. However, there are ways to contest perjury allegations effectively, and a criminal defense attorney could work diligently to mitigate the repercussions of a conviction.
If you have been accused of lying under oath, speaking with a Fort Oglethorpe perjury lawyer about your legal options is likely in your best interests.
Official Code of Georgia §16-10-70 broadly defines perjury as making a false statement while under oath during a court proceeding. To be convicted of this offense, a defendant must have known that their statement was false and intentionally lied or misinterpreted the truth. The subject of their statement must have also been germane to the proceeding they were under oath for. In other words, perjury entails someone lying about something relevant to a legal case.
Similarly, if someone commits perjury through a written document such as an affidavit, they may face charges of false swearing under O.C.G.A §16-10-71. Depending on the circumstances, a defendant may face this charge in conjunction with or as an alternative to a traditional perjury charge.
If someone does not lie under oath or submit a false statement themselves but gets another person to do so on their behalf, the person who sought that action may face charges under O.C.G.A. §16-10-72 for subornation of perjury and/or false swearing. A qualified Fort Oglethorpe perjury attorney could help an individual contest charges pursued under any of these statutes.
Regardless of whether it takes the form of perjury or false swearing, lying under oath is prosecuted harshly under state law. A first conviction of either perjury or subordination of perjury could result in a prison sentence of between one and 10 years as well as a $1,000 fine, and false swearing is punishable by one to five years in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Additionally, anyone whose perjury leads to another person’s criminal conviction and imprisonment may be sentenced to a period of imprisonment up to the length of the sentence caused by their perjury. Perjury leading to someone receiving a death sentence is punishable by life imprisonment. A lawyer in Fort Oglethorpe could further explain these consequences and other sanctions that may come from a conviction on perjury charges.
Fighting back against perjury allegations can be incredibly challenging without assistance from seasoned legal counsel. To defend yourself against your charges, you must prove that you either were not aware your statement was false, that the false statement you made was not relevant to the proceedings, or that you simply made a mistake while speaking. All of these defenses can take a good deal of evidence and legal knowledge to demonstrate in court.
Fortunately, a dedicated Fort Oglethorpe perjury attorney could guide you through every step of this process and work tirelessly to pursue a positive outcome on your behalf. Schedule your first consultation by calling today.