Although more often heard about, perjury is not only charged when someone lies on the witness stand. Perjury takes many forms and affects different people.
Successfully raising a defense against perjury accusations may not be an easy undertaking. A Mount Pleasant perjury lawyer could help restore your credibility and clear your name by building a solid defense. It could be beneficial to have a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side to evaluate your case.
What is Perjury?
Perjury is defined as a criminal offense that occurs when one person knowingly makes a materially false statement, verbally or written, under oath. The speaker’s intent to defraud and knowledge that the statement is false is essential, and typically this is the most difficult part for the prosecution to prove in court.
South Carolina Perjury Laws
The criminal offense of perjury falls under South Carolina §16-9-10. This statute explains that a person is guilty of committing perjury if:
- Their testimony is given willfully
- Their testimony is false, misleading, or incomplete
- Their testimony is given under oath
- Their testimony is given on a court record, or a state judicial or regulatory administrative proceeding
- Their testimony is given on any document, record, report, or form required by the laws of the state
What is Subornation of Perjury?
The Statute South Carolina §16-9-10(C) defines the term subornation within perjury law. Subornation of perjury occurs when someone induces, persuades, or procures another person to commit perjury or if they commit perjury by an act, consent, or agreement. The most common instance of subornation of perjury is when an attorney persuades a witness to lie in court proceedings. A perjury lawyer in Mount Pleasant could help the defendant determine if their charges fall under the category of subornation.
Potential Defenses and Offenses for Perjury in Mount Pleasant
There are different levels of punishment based on the perjury offense committed. If perjury is committed in relation to a court record or state proceeding, that person could be found guilty of a felony, fined, and could face up to five years in prison. However, someone found guilty of perjury in relation to a state document, record, report, or form, would be charged with a misdemeanor and only face up to six months in prison.
A perjury attorney in Mount Pleasant could help those accused of perjury build a strong defense to combat the allegations. For example, the defendant could raise the argument that the false statement was immaterial, in which case the statement would not materially affect the course or outcome of a proceeding. The accused may also raise the defense that their statements were coerced.
To be convicted of perjury, the defendant must have acted willfully. If the defendant could provide evidence that shows that they were to make the statement, they could be found not guilty of perjury.
Reach Out to a Mount Pleasant Perjury Attorney Today
Perjury charges can attack the credibility of the accused, and fighting against these accusations might feel like an uphill battle.
A Mount Pleasant perjury lawyer could be there to lend a hand to counter the claims brought against you. They could identify the complicated aspects of your defense and decide what form of legal action would benefit you most. Start your ascent to a charge-free life by calling to schedule a consultation today.