Criminal perjury, false statements, and obstruction charges are serious legal matters that could permanently affect your rights. Federal courts expect legal rules and procedures to be followed closely, so you may wish to seek help from a skilled federal criminal attorney when facing any allegations that you failed to tell the truth to federal agents or in federal proceedings.

These charges might be confusing, but a South Carolina federal perjury lawyer could help you understand the law and stand up for your rights. If you are accused of being untruthful under oath, the right legal strategy and a strong advocate may be beneficial.

Federal Definition of Lying under Oath

Most people understand that lying under oath in a courtroom qualifies as perjury, but the federal definition of this offense is slightly more complex than that one scenario. Knowledge of how perjury laws apply to an individual situation may be useful in developing a strong defense, which is one of many matters with which a South Carolina federal perjury attorney can provide significant assistance.

What is the Definition of Perjury?

Under 18 United States Code §1621, a person may be guilty of perjury if they make a statement they do not believe to be true after taking an oath in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes the administration of such an oath. They could also be found guilty of perjury if they give false information in any declaration, verification, written statement, or certificate made under penalty of perjury.

The wording of this law means that a person could be accused of perjury based upon a statement made in a courtroom, administrative hearing, deposition, or a variety of other legal situations. This law also includes false written statements, such as those made in court filings, tax documents, immigration papers, or other legal documents.

Definition of False Statements and Criminal Obstruction of Justice

Similarly, false statements (18 USC § 1001) and obstruction have criminalized lying.  A false statement is an untrue account to federal authorities that are not under oath.  This charge is frequently made against people who speak to federal agents without a criminal defense lawyer present. Obstruction of justice (18 USC § 1505) is when someone illegally interferes or attempts to interfere with a federal investigation by making false statements, destroying documents, etc.

Federal Subornation of Perjury and False Statements

Procuring another person to commit perjury is illegal under 18 U.S.C. §1622. Laws addressing subornation of perjury may be vague and confusing, but examples of unlawful acts in this regard include:

  • Threatening or coercing someone to commit perjury
  • Offering someone a benefit in exchange for an untruthful statement
  • Asking someone to commit perjury as a favor, even if they get nothing in return

These cases sometimes rely on statements from other witnesses who may or may not be reliable. A South Carolina lawyer experienced with federal subornation of perjury could help evaluate the most effective potential defenses to this kind of accusation.

What are the Penalties for Perjury under Federal Law?

Perjury at the federal level is a felony offense that could result in fines, jail time, and other lifelong consequences upon conviction. 18 U.S.C. §1621 allows for the imposition of up to five years of prison time and a fine for those convicted of perjury.

An individual convicted of perjury may also face additional non-criminal consequences even after a prison sentence is served, including:

  • Limits on employment options
  • Revocation of immigration status
  • Impacts on voting rights
  • Credibility affected in any future legal dispute

Qualified legal counsel may be able to help someone fight for their rights or reduce the consequences of a perjury charge under certain circumstances.

Contact a South Carolina Federal Perjury, False Statement, and Obstruction Attorney for Help

Perjury cases are not always straightforward. Sometimes people are falsely accused of perjury or mistakenly believed a statement was truthful at the time it was made. If you face these kinds of accusations, a skilled legal advocate could help protect your rights.

Let an experienced attorney empower you to navigate your case. Call a South Carolina federal perjury, false statement, and obstruction lawyer today to start building a strong defense for your case.