The importance of honesty is no secret. In fact, the concept of perjury states that it is illegal for anyone to lie in situations where they have a legal expectation to tell the truth. While committing this act may lead to serious legal trouble, this is far from the only way you might find yourself guilty of perjury under state law. A collection of statutes exists that punish multiple forms of lying under oath, and that prohibit individuals from enticing others to do so.
If you are facing accusations related to providing false statements, a Columbia perjury lawyer may be able to help. With so many variables at hand, having an adaptable white-collar defense attorney on your side can make a difference in your success.
There are a number of situations where making factual statements is not only expected but is legally required. These can be verbal statements while under oath, or written notices or affidavits that are affirmed through signatures. Any willful lie under these circumstances can result in severe legal consequences, as stated in South Carolina Code § 16-9-10.
In addition, S.C. Code § 16-9-20 makes it a crime to induce others to make false statements during civil actions or proceedings. This could mean, for example, encouraging or incentivizing someone to lie while on the witness stand. A Columbia attorney who is well-versed in perjury cases could help evaluate the information upon which a prosecutor is bringing criminal charges and provide more information.
An accusation of perjury is a serious matter. In most examples, a conviction is a misdemeanor that can result in a jail sentence of no more than six months or the payment of $100. This applies when the perjury involves providing false information on a document or convincing others to provide a false statement during a civil action.
However, perjury can also be a felony that comes with a five-year maximum prison sentence. This can be true when the perjury involves making false statements during any official court session or falsely promising to tell the truth when under oath.
A key concept in any perjury case is intent. The prosecutor must prove that a defendant willfully provided false information in each statute. Because of this, many defenses revolve around an individual’s state of mind at the time of the allegedly false statement. It is important to uncover information about what a person knew, when they knew it, and how that information might be relevant to any claims of perjury. A detail-oriented perjury attorney in Columbia could analyze the situation that may have led to an individual’s arrest, determine what the prosecutor intends to prove, and present a defense that fights back against the idea that the defendant knowingly provided false statements.
Most individuals carry a duty to tell the truth in certain situations, especially in a court setting or on official documents. Providing false information, whether knowingly or unknowingly, could result in being charged with perjury, which can come with severe consequences – including jail time.
A Columbia perjury lawyer could put all effort into exploring the facts behind your case and potentially develop a defense that may help you to avoid harsh punishment. Reach out to us now to schedule a consultation.