Quantico Perjury Lawyer
The act of intentionally making a false statement while under oath is known as perjury, and the penalties for a conviction are steep. In some cases, however, an honest mistake or a statement of opinion could inadvertently result in a perjury charge.
While these charges are rare, you should still take them seriously and consider contacting a defense attorney immediately. With the help of a Quantico perjury lawyer, you could have a legal professional on your side advocating for your best interests.
Elements of Perjury
To obtain a conviction for perjury in a Quantico court, the Commonwealth’s attorney must establish three elements. If they fail to meet even one, the defendant should be acquitted.
The first element is that the defendant made a false statement while under penalty of perjury. This could include testifying under oath during a court proceeding or a false statement on an official government form.
The second element the Commonwealth’s attorney must prove is that the defendant made the false statement knowingly and willfully. In other words, a conviction for perjury is not appropriate in cases involving an honest mistake or clerical error.
The third and final element requires proof that the false statement made by the defendant was material (relevant) to the matter at hand. Courts have held that a false statement in and of itself is not necessarily perjury. To be material, it must go to the heart of the matter. For example, if a false statement on a marriage form would not impact the chances of acceptance, a defendant could argue that the mistake was not material. If the marriage form reflected a person was old enough to marry when they in fact were not, however, a court would likely find that false statement to be material. Someone who is unsure if their perjury charge resulted from an immaterial statement should consult with a Quantico attorney for clarification.
Penalties in a Perjury Case
Under Commonwealth law, a conviction for perjury in Quantico can carry heavy penalties. However, the jury that is hearing the case has a say in how steep these penalties could be. Perjury under is treated as a “wobbler” – an offense that could be either a misdemeanor or a felony.
The maximum penalty for perjury is ten years in prison. In addition to jail time, a perjury conviction could also result in a fine of no more than $2,500. Alternatively, at the jury’s discretion, a perjury conviction could carry a maximum of 12 months in jail. A local perjury lawyer could fight for reduced penalties on a defendant’s behalf.
Call a Quantico Perjury Attorney for Legal Advice
Whether you have been accused of lying on the witness stand or providing false information on a government form, the potential consequences may be severe.
Your choice of a defense attorney will impact every step of the legal process. Contact a Quantico perjury lawyer right away to schedule a free consultation.