Making false statements while testifying under oath in a courtroom, deposition, or giving a formal statement can result in the state filing perjury charges against you. If the prosecutor accuses you of perjury, you will likely face severe penalties, including imprisonment and steep fines. Sentencing for the unlawful act will also mean having a permanent criminal record that will appear every time you submit to a background check. Call a Marquette perjury lawyer if you are under investigation or face charges. After reviewing the case, an experienced defense attorney could explain your charges, potential penalties, and the best options.
Elements Needed to Prove Perjury
For the state to charge a person with perjury, the testimony they provided must have been capable of influencing the outcome of a legal matter. The prosecutor must also establish the following elements to prove the individual is guilty of the crime of perjury:
- The person was legally required to take an oath and submit testimony
- The party took an oath in criminal proceedings either verbally or in writing
- While the individual was under oath, they knowingly made false statements
The state will commonly file charges for committing perjury after an individual makes false statements while testifying in a criminal case. A Marquette perjury attorney could investigate the cause of the arrest to determine the best action for the defense.
Perjury Conviction and Penalties
A conviction can have severe consequences depending on the nature of the matter in which the alleged perjury occurred. According to the Michigan Penal Code § 750.423, any person who willfully makes false statements under oath can be charged with perjury. Charges can also result from unlawfully and knowingly signing a legal document and making false declarations. An individual whom the court convicts for perjury faces up to 15 years of imprisonment.
A person can also face sentencing and adverse consequences for attempting to induce another party to commit perjury. Under the Michigan Penal Code § 750.483a, an individual who withholds testimony or attempts to retaliate against other parties for testifying can also face a criminal conviction and harsh penalties.
A criminal conviction can mean spending up to ten years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. A seasoned Upper Peninsula criminal defense lawyer understands the high stakes of a perjury conviction and could help strategize a solid defense strategy.
Possible Defense Strategies in Perjury Cases
Some of the possible defenses against the charge of perjury can include:
- The party unknowingly committed the offense
- At the time of testimony, they believed the statements were true
- The statements were indeed true
- The declarations did not have the ability to influence the outcome of a legal matter
In some cases, the defendant may be able to assert they recanted the statements to prove innocence. The best action to take for defense will depend on the type of perjury charges a person faces and the state’s evidence.
Call a Perjury Lawyer in Marquette Today
Making false statements under oath or attempting to withhold testimony can lead to a perjury conviction and severe consequences. A conviction will not only have legal repercussions but can also severely tarnish your reputation because it calls into question your trustworthiness and integrity.
If you face perjury convection, having a skilled Marquette perjury lawyer on your side could help you reach the best potential outcome. Contact Berger Law to schedule a consultation and begin strategizing your defense strategy immediately.