Perjury is a criminal offense related to making willfully misleading or false statements while under oath. The act of lying is not a crime, but doing so under oath, either in writing or during a formal proceeding, carries serious criminal consequences.
If you are facing charges of perjury, your choice of an experienced defense attorney could greatly impact the outcome of your case. A strong defense could provide you with an opportunity to reduce the consequences you face or lead to a dismissal entirely. Before you consider a plea offer, it could be in your best interest to speak to a Beaufort perjury lawyer at Schiller & Hamilton.
Understanding Perjury Charges
Many people conflate the criminal offense of perjury as simply lying under oath in a court of law. While that act does constitute perjury, it is only one of the ways a person could commit this criminal offense. Under the law, perjury can occur in one of three ways. A Beaufort criminal defense lawyer could help a person charged with the crime of providing false information understand the nature of the different possible offenses.
Lying under Oath
The traditional version of perjury involves willfully providing an untrue statement while under oath. This statement must be false, incomplete, or misleading. It also must be uttered during a judicial, regulatory, or court proceeding.
Providing False Information in Formal Documents
There are also charges that are not related to court proceedings at all. It is an act of perjury to willfully offer misleading or false information in formal documents. These documents could be anything that is mandated by the state, including official forms, reports, or government records.
Coercing an Individual to Commit Perjury
It is also a violation of state perjury laws to either coerce or persuade another individual into lying under oath or providing false documentation. This offense is treated as if the individual made the false or misleading statement themselves.
For a free legal consultation with a Beaufort Perjury Lawyer call 1-803-366-0333
Defenses to Perjury in Beaufort SC
Like with any criminal charges, there are viable defenses in a perjury prosecution. Developing a defense strategy can be challenging, especially without the help of seasoned legal counsel. A perjury attorney in Beaufort could evaluate the facts of a case to determine the appropriate defense strategy.
To be guilty, a person must be found to have made a false or misleading statement. For that reason, the truth of the matter asserted could serve as a viable defense. In these cases, it makes no difference what a person’s motives were. If the statement is verifiably true, perjury charges are not appropriate.
Accident and Error
One of the key aspects of a charge like this is that the false or misleading statement is made willfully. That means that the act of unintentionally providing false or misleading information is not considered a criminal act. Mistakenly providing incorrect information does not rise to the level of perjury.
Only willfully false statements count as perjury, which means statements made against a person’s will should not qualify. For example, an individual that was coerced or threatened into making a false statement could use that act of coercion as a defense.
Beaufort Perjury Accident Lawyer Near Me 1-803-366-0333
Reach out to a Beaufort Perjury Attorney Right Away
Perjury is a serious criminal offense that can bring hefty, long-term consequences upon conviction. The good news is that you have the right to fight back. A Beaufort perjury lawyer could establish that your statement did not meet the level of this crime under the law. Call Schiller & Hamilton right away to discuss your defense options.