Lying under oath constitutes perjury and is a criminal offense. The U.S. Code’s Sections 1621 and 1623 of title 18 govern perjury before a federal court, tribunal, or grand jury. If you are facing this type of accusation, whether on its own or as part of other criminal allegations at the state and/or federal level, you could face severe penalties with lasting consequences.
Understanding what constitutes federal perjury, its potential sentences, and what your defense options are, can help you get a more detailed understanding of what your options are if you face this type of charges.
Judicial Penalties for Federal Perjury
Federal perjury is a felony that can carry the following consequences:
- Up to five years of imprisonment
The extent of your penalties can vary depending on any criminal history you may have. You may also face state penalties although a judge may opt for probation over a jail sentence in certain cases. If a court convicts you of additional charges, your penalties can increase.
Other Consequences of a Federal Perjury Conviction
In addition to a criminal record, a conviction for federal perjury can have a lasting effect on your personal and professional life. If you work in a field where truthfulness plays a central role, you may have reduced employability and possibly lose a professional license.
A criminal record can also impact your educational, financial, and housing options. It may also affect your parental rights and custody of your child in certain circumstances.
Defense Strategies Against Accusations of Federal Perjury
To convict someone of perjury, the prosecution must prove the following elements:
- The declarant took an oath to testify truthfully
- They willfully gave a false statement despite their oath
- The declarant believed their statement to be untrue
- Their statement related to a material fact that directly concerns the lawsuit or investigation
If accused of federal perjury, your defense lawyer can recommend a defense strategy that fits your specific situation. By pleading not guilty to those charges, the prosecution must bear the burden of proof.
The prosecution must establish every element of perjury to convict you. While demonstrating that you made a statement under oath, the other elements can be more difficult to establish. For example, silence or declining to answer a question cannot be construed as perjury as you made no statement. If a court cannot prove that you intended to mislead, your statement may not be defined as perjury.
Hire Brad Bailey Law as Your Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
If you face federal accusations or a federal court asks you to testify, you should always hire a reputable attorney who can help you navigate the legal process. Your lawyer can help protect your rights and help you avoid potentially costly mistakes when answering law enforcement and/or a judge.
Brad Bailey is a nationally recognized criminal defense attorney who has helped hundreds of clients secure a positive outcome in their federal cases. As a former federal prosecutor, Mr. Bailey has a deep understanding of the law and the judicial process at both the state and federal levels.
With over 30 years of professional experience, attorney Bailey and the rest of our team know how a positive difference personalized and aggressive representation can make for our clients. We are committed to protecting your future no matter the charges you are facing.
Have you been accused of federal perjury in Boston or the greater New England area? Call Brad Bailey Law today at (617) 500-0252 or use our online form to schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense attorneys.