Los Angeles Perjury Defense Lawyers
In the state of California, perjury is defined as intentionally providing false information under oath. In today’s society, many statements and actions could be wrongly considered perjury, and you may be facing serious criminal charges. Without the right attorney, you could make mistakes that worsen your legal situation.
At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, we take a team approach to defending our clients. At our firm, you don’t just get one attorney – you get an entire team dedicated to identifying the best strategy for your defense. We work fast, efficiently, and professionally, and have been successfully defending clients facing a range of criminal charges since 1994.
Perjury in California is defined as intentionally providing false information under oath. To be convicted, the following elements must be proven by the prosecutor:
- You took an oath or otherwise signed a document that stated that the contents were true under threat of perjury.
- You willfully conveyed the statement.
- You intentionally stated that your information was true despite knowing that it was false.
- The information is considered “material” to the situation.
The obvious example that most people have seen is in courtroom proceedings where witnesses are sworn in with something along the lines of “Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” However, there are many other less-obvious examples of perjury. For example:
- Falsifying any information at the DMV.
- Falsifying any document signed with a notation of “affirm that this is true under penalty of perjury” or any similar wording.
- Providing any false information in a sworn deposition.
- Providing false information in a statement.
It is important to note that a misworded or confusing oath is not a valid defense for perjury.
Perjury is a felony in the state of California and can lead to the following penalties:
- Felony probation with up to 1 year in prison
- 2, 3, or 4 years in prison
The severity of the penalty is very much up to the discretion of the judge. The penalty is also affected by a prior criminal record and whether it is a first or repeat offense.
An additional factor of a conviction of perjury is that it is considered to be a “crime of moral turpitude.” A crime of moral turpitude is defined as a crime that involves either dishonesty or base, vile, or depraved conduct that is shocking to a reasonable person. Being convicted of a crime of moral turpitude can:
- Significantly affect immigration (if you are not a U.S. citizen) and in some cases lead to deportation
- Cause you to lose your professional license (doctor, lawyer, etc.)
- Be used to damage your credibility as a witness in future proceedings
If you are charged with perjury, you must get the right attorneys on your side to defend you and pursue a favorable outcome.
Perjury can be challenging to prove. There are several common defenses against perjury, which include:
- Mistake or misunderstanding: Perjury includes intentionally providing information you know is false. If you believed it to be true when you said it, it isn’t perjury.
- Insufficient evidence: One contradictory bit of testimony is not sufficient evidence.
- The statement is not “material” to the matter at hand: The false statement must be necessary in some way to the case.
- You are not the one who committed the crime: If someone else forged a document in your name, you have a valid defense.
In other words, if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not intentionally provide false information while under oath, you have a valid defense.
Defending against a charge of perjury requires an intimate knowledge of the law. The legal team at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP has a proven track record at trial, and if we take on your case, you will be represented by experienced professionals.
Criminal defense is all we do. Contact us today at (213) 688-0460 for a free consultation.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.