Federal False Statements
If you deliver any kind of false statement after being charged with a federal crime, then officials will have a way of finding out. This means that any statement that is proven to be false in the eyes of the court could result in more time being added to any sentence that you receive. The federal government usually frowns upon those who don’t tell the truth because it complicates testimonies and holds cases longer in court than it should take for them to be complete. When you go to court and the prosecution believes that you are making false statements, then you will usually be called out in court and asked to repeat the statement or asked if you are sure that the statement that you made is true. If the prosecution is correct about the statements that you made, then it will usually make it difficult for the court to believe anything else that you say, which means that your case could be in jeopardy.
You can be charged with a crime if you make a false statement when you talk to a federal investigator whether you do so with or without intent. You can also be charged if you try to conceal information, such as not telling the investigator information as this is seen just as negatively as lying. When an investigator approaches you while you’re at home or in another setting, you can be charged if the statements that you make are false. You can also be charged if you make false statements in front of members of Congress or members of the court. You can be charged if you are under oath for making false statements as well as deciding not to take an oath does not offer any kind of protection from what you say.
Unfortunately, the statutes about making false statements are often abused by both the defendant and members of the criminal justice system. Consider the tactics that are used when FBI officers conduct interviews and try to get information from people who they charge with crimes or people who they suspect are committing a crime. There are usually two people in the room at one time when you’re being interviewed. You would think that this would be for your protection, but it’s usually so that the officers can try to get you to say something that contradicts another piece of information that you have already said. One officer will ask you something. After you make a statement, the other officer will write down the details of the statement. Another officer will look at the statements and questions that are written and make a determination about whether you could have given a false statement or not without really knowing any of the true details about what you said because the officer writes down short details. Officers who have already judged you as being guilty will often paint you in this light by writing notes that indicate that your statements could be false. This is only one of the reasons as to why you should consider having an attorney present when you deliver a statement or consider making detailed notes about what you want to say before meeting with the investigator.
Most agents who work for the federal government conduct interviews in the same manner. They have two people in the room so that one can make notes about what you say. Since the opposing side has two people, then it makes sense that you should be allowed to have someone with you as well. Keep in mind that the interviewer has to be able to determine that you knew that you were committing an illegal act by making a false statement as this is one of the ways that the process could play in your favor. When you begin the interview, you are usually told that making any kind of false statement could result in a federal charge. This is one way that investigators can navigate around this issue so that you are still charged for lying even though the federal agents are doing the same thing by making statements in their notes that might not be true. When an agent wants to talk to you, the best thing that you can do is maintain your composure and tell the truth.