4 Things You May Not Know About Perjury

23 January 2018
 Categories: Law, Blog

Perjury refers to the act of lying under oath, and it is a serious crime. Just like other criminal charges, perjury can be defended, and here are some of the potential defenses that you and your criminal and personal injury attorney may use:

It Doesn't Have To Affect the Outcome

A common misconception is that you can only be prosecuted for perjury if it affects the outcome of the case. The reality, however, is that you can be convicted of the crime even if it doesn't affect the outcome; what matters is that it has the potential to affect the outcome. For example, if you are charged with assault and lie about your whereabouts on the time of the alleged incident, you can be charged and convicted with perjury even if the prosecution manages to prove their case in another way (for example, if there are solid witnesses to the act).

Inconsistency Is Also Perjury

Statement inconsistencies may also count as perjury. This is because your testimony is not viewed in bits; it is viewed as a whole. Consider a case where you have claimed that you haven't missed work for the last three months only to later change your testimony and claim that there were two weeks where you took sick leave. If this is something that can affect the legal proceeding, then you can be charged with perjury.

Perjury is an Intentional Crime

The good news is that perjury is an intentional crime; you cannot be convicted of lying under oath if you made an honest mistake or forgot about something. For example, there are diseases or medications that interfere with memory. Therefore, if your memory is fuzzy and you cannot recall an event exactly as it occurred, you can't be charged with perjury if you get some things wrong about the alleged incident.

It May Trigger Related Charges

Lastly, you should know that perjury is not the only crime you may be charged with if you have been accused of lying under oath. Depending on the circumstances of your crime, you may face other criminal charges such as being an accessory to a crime. For example, if you were testifying in a drug possession case and you lie about seeing the defendant handle drug paraphernalia, you can be charged with being an accessory to the crime of drug possession if you are convicted of perjury.

Hopefully, you will not be facing perjury charges any time soon. If you do get accused of committing the crime, however, you have the right to an attorney just like any other criminal suspect.