When a person makes a sworn false or written statement, they can be charged with perjury. This charge can be either a class A misdemeanor or a class D or E felony, meaning that if convicted the accused can be sentenced to a serve time, have to pay fines or be on probation for multiple years. While we have used perjury in the past as a tool against opposing parties, our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys at Tilem & Associates can also help those who have been charged with perjury. While the most famous case of perjury charges being brought involved a previous U.S. President from the early 2000’s, these charges can only become a conviction if it is proven by the prosecution that all elements of the statute have been met. This type of proof is not easily shown, as it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was acting intentionally.
Once a person has been placed under oath by giving an affirmation attesting to the truth of their statements, if they make a statement before any public servant, court, agency, or other person authorized by law to administer the oath that is false they can be charged with perjury. This can also include any affidavits, depositions or other written documents for which swearing to an oath is required. The lowest form of perjury is in the third degree and is a class A misdemeanor. For this charge, a person must have sworn falsely, meaning that while giving testimony or under oath for a written instrument (in which the written instrument is complete) they intentionally make a false statement which they believe not to be true.
Making a punishable false written statement is also its own charge, also being a class A misdemeanor. This criminalizes the making of a false written statement when a person knowingly makes a statement which they do not believe to be true in a written statement that bears a legally authorized form notice to the effect that the false statements within are punishable. This allows the charge to encompass such things as making false statements on bank documents like loans, lenders agreements, or even certain contracts.
This charge becomes a class E felony if the false statement given was made with intent to mislead a public servant while performing an official function and the statement is material to the court action, proceeding or matter involved. The most serious perjury charge is a class D felony and can lead to up to seven years’ probation if convicted. This applies when the accused swears falsely and when the false statement is material to the action, matter or proceeding in with the false statement was made and consists of testimony.
There are options when it comes to dealing with a perjury charge but is important that you reach out to our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys as soon as possible to make sure that the best possible outcome is achieved.