Criminal Attorneys & DWI Lawyers in Covington, New Orleans, and Shreveport Louisiana
Perjury Defense Lawyer in Louisiana
A lot of times, judges give their verdict and make their decisions based on sworn testimony, statements given by witnesses or signed documents. It is believed that when statements are given under oath, they are true. This is why witnesses usually swear an oath in court before testifying.
In spite of this, a lot of people still do not tell the truth after swearing an oath that they will. How sure are we or how certain are we that everyone in a legal matter is telling the truth. We can’t be certain all the times but the thing is that most of them are caught and are charged with perjury. In a layman’s understanding then, perjury is a serious criminal offense of knowingly misleading a court of justice either verbally or in writing. In this way, you are consciously, knowingly or intentionally giving false statements thereby misleading the court.
Perjury is a very serious offense because it is a crime committed against justice — a crime of lying even under an oath. The singular act alone is not just a crime against the court, but also against grand juries, the governing body, the state, and public officials.
Louisiana law acknowledges two types of perjury and each of them has so many elements.
The first type involves statements that weekend made under oath and for one to be convicted of perjury, there should be proof that:
- The person took an oath to say nothing but the truth either verbally or in writing.
- The person gave a false statement
- The person knew that statement he gave was false
- The statement was made willfully without force
The second type of perjury involves statements that are unsworn and for one to be convicted, there should be proof that:
- The person made an unsworn statement or declaration that is permitted by Federal law.
- The statement by the person was made under the penalty of perjury
- The statement was used as a material
- The person made the statement did not believe it was true.
Louisiana State Definition Of Perjury
According to Section 14:123 of the Louisiana Statutes, perjury is the conscious, knowing and intentional making of a false statement that could with be written or oral for use in a judicial proceeding. For it to be perjury, it has to be that the statement was found to be false or untrue after an oath had been sworn.
Also, it has to relate to the subject matter used as a material in court. One paramount thing and very important thing to be noted is that the accused knew that the statement was false but still went on to testify.
What makes perjury a very serious case is that the false statement given by the testifier or witness could be used to misjudge a person. This act is sometimes known as a miscarriage of justice. In this way, someone who was accused and charged to court can be judged wrongly based on the false statements given by another person.
Because of the gravity and severity of the offense, it is seen as a felony which of course, is punishable by law as every other crime.
Examples of Perjury
There are several examples and instances of perjury but where the crime is, is when there was a statement made under oath. It could also be in signed documents.
Note that some witnesses may unknowingly or unintentionally give false testimonies and statements. In this case, the prosecutor needs to have proof that they intended to mislead the court.
The Knowledge Of Falsity- An Essential Element In Perjury
The main act that makes one to be charged with perjury is not even the false or untrue statement. It is rather the fact that the person knew the statement to be false before taking an oath. That is what is termed “the knowledge of falsity”.
As long as the person willfully and knowingly gave the statement, then it is perjury. However, some defendants during judicial proceedings claim that they thought the statement was true before they took the oath and therefore had no idea that it was false.
Another important element of perjury is the fact that the false statement was used as material. The material here means that the statement affected or has the tendency to affect the outcome of the judicial proceedings.
Penalty For Perjury In Louisiana
Every state has laws and rules guiding them. In this same way, if one is found guilty of perjury in Louisiana, here are the penalties:
- If perjury was committed on a trial where the penalty is life imprisonment or death sentence, the offender will pay a fine of not more than one hundred thousand dollars or serve a jail term of not less than five years but not more than forty years or both.
- If perjury was committed on a trial where the penalty is a jail term with hard labor or anything less than life imprisonment, the offender will pay a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars or serve a jail term of not less than one year and not more than twenty years with hard labor or both.
Accused of Perjury In Louisiana?
If you have been accused of perjury in Louisiana, the first step you should take is to get a very good Louisiana criminal defense attorney. Then, you can give your lawyer an account of everything without missing anything out.
It is important that your lawyer knows everything that happens so he will know how to help you. The Barkemeyer Law Firm promises everything you say to us is confidential so you can tell us anything.
We aim to get you lesser charges if not getting you acquitted and discharged.
In this way, if you or a loved one has been charged with perjury in Louisiana, do well to contact us and let’s get the case started.
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Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers
Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.