Making a false statement under oath, also known as perjury, is a serious crime with significant consequences. If you face charges of this nature, working with a determined white-collar defense attorney is essential.
A Greenville perjury lawyer from Bill Nettles Attorney at Law, could protect your rights and ensure the prosecution does not overstep. Depending on the circumstances, our team may be able to get the prosecutor to dismiss or reduce the charges. Reach out today to begin reviewing the details of your case.
South Carolina Statute § 16-9-10 defines perjury. It means knowingly making a false statement or affirming a statement the individual knew was incomplete, misleading, or false while sworn to tell the truth.
People sometimes think of perjury as giving untruthful testimony as a witness in a court proceeding. Lying in court is perjury, but the crime could also arise in other contexts. Knowingly providing false or incomplete information in a deposition, affidavit, witness statement, or report to the court are all examples.
Perjury charges also could relate to signing a document containing inaccurate or false information. For example, signing a tax return that does not report the entirety of a person’s income could be perjury. A Greenville attorney will analyze the situation that led to the perjury charge and craft the most effective defense possible under the circumstances.
The harshness of perjury penalties sometimes surprises people. However, perjury undercuts the effectiveness of the entire judicial system, so courts and prosecutors take it seriously.
Making a false statement in court or while under oath is a felony. Upon conviction, a person faces up to five years in prison. Conversely, making a false statement in a document like a tax return or loan application is a misdemeanor. The penalty upon conviction of misdemeanor perjury is up to six months in jail.
Perjury is a crime that requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant specifically intended to give false or misleading information. Although the prosecutor can use circumstantial evidence to demonstrate intent, confirming what was in a person’s mind is challenging.
A Greenville perjury attorney could raise other explanations for the defendant’s statements to weaken the prosecutor’s evidence of intent. For example, if the defendant was mistaken or misinformed, they could not have the specific intent to commit perjury. Similarly, a defendant could have forgotten relevant information they neglected to mention in their testimony.
Sometimes, the prosecutor has recordings or credible witness statements that demonstrate the defendant intended to lie or admitted to lying. In such cases, legal counsel could question whether law enforcement adhered to all the applicable Constitutional safeguards when obtaining the recording. They could also attack the credibility of any witnesses the prosecution presents.
Prosecutors and judges take allegations of perjury extremely seriously. You could face prison and hefty fines if you are convicted, and the charges could significantly impact your personal and professional life.
Fortunately, the team at Bill Nettles Attorney at Law has many years of hands-on experience defending against charges of this nature. A Greenville perjury lawyer from our firm could investigate every angle to help you seek the best possible legal outcome in your situation. Call today to schedule a free consultation to get started.