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What is Perjury?
Perjury is when an individual commits a crime by giving false information to either a government agency or to a court. These crimes are considered very serious in California. When false information is given under oath, the resulting consequences can be even more serious. Even though you are entitled to certain protections under the Fifth Amendment, information privileges and also immunity from being prosecuted as part of negotiations with the prosecution, there are some times that an individual will be forced to testify in court and they have to answer a question as truthfully as possible despite not wanting to.
The consequences for perjury, suborning perjury, obstruction of justice or intimidating or dissuading a witness are all illegal actions in California. They are considered serious criminal offenses that carry some heavy consequences including:
• Prison time
• Huge fines
• Serious immigration consequences
• Complications finding employment
• Difficulties with professional licenses
Individuals that are facing a perjury charge, intimidating or dissuading witnesses, obstruction of justice, giving false information to a government office or similar charges in Los Angeles, contact our law firm for a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.
Perjury Defense Attorney
Under Penal Code Section 118, it is a felony in California when you purposely give false information while under oath. This criminal act is punishable by as much as four years in a California state prison. Perjury applies to testimony given by witnesses in court as well as several other situations where a person may be required to be under oath such as:
• Deposition testimony
• Sworn affidavit or declaration
• Application for a driver’s license
Defenses for these actions can include:
• The individual is mistaken about the statement instead of lying
• The individual did not understand the question
• The individual lied about an unimportant fact
• The individual was not actually under oath
• The individual was under duress or threats
Suborning perjury is also considered a punishable felony by as much as four years in jail. An individual that has committed suborning perjury has convinced another individual to lie under oath forcing that individual to commit perjury. It is also a punishable felony to bribe of a witness.
False Documents that Hide Citizenship
Penal Code Section 114 makes providing false document to hide an individual’s true citizenship or resident alien status as a felony in California. This can be punishable by as much as five years in jail. Defense can include:
• An individual’s lack of intent
• An individual’s misunderstanding
• An individual’s lack of knowledge of the paperwork
The offense can pertain to the following documents:
• Birth certificates
• Social Security cards
• ID cards
• Driver’s licenses
This charge is most often seen on an application for a driver’s license.
Dissuading a Witness
Under Penal Code Section 136.1, it is a crime to prevent a witness from stepping forward and reporting a crime or testifying in court. This can be either a misdemeanor or felony that can be punishable by as much as four years in jail. If the crime includes the use of force or fear, any weapons or benefited a street gang, the punishments can be more severe.
Obstruction of Justice
In California, it is a crime if an individual provides false written evidence. This crime is a felony that can include as much as three years in jail. The following is also considered a crime:
• Preparing false evidence for a legal proceeding
• Destroying or concealing evidence
• Planting evidence
If you have been charged with a criminal offense involving perjury or obstruction of justice, contact our experienced lawyers that will be there to fight your case to get you the best possible outcome. Our attorneys can present the most promising defense, including any mitigating factors, that can lead to successful outcome for your case.