Even if you did not pledge in front of a judge to tell the truth, there are still many circumstances in which statements you make and documents you submit are “under oath.” If someone allegedly makes a false statement in these circumstances, they face penalties for perjury—potentially years in prison and permanent branding as a felon.
If you are accused of intentionally and knowingly lying under oath, the steps you take for your defense will have a huge impact on your future prospects. Work with a Mesa perjury lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group to effectively contest this allegation and avoid a serious criminal conviction. Our seasoned defense attorneys will use every available strategy to fight the charges against you and protect your way of life.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes §13-2702, the act of perjury is when someone makes either a “sworn statement” or “unsworn declaration” related to a “material issue” that they know or believe to be false. A.R.S. §13-2701 establishes specific definitions for these terms as they apply to perjury charges. These are important to understand, as a strong legal defense will work to contest one or more of these elements.
A “sworn statement” is a representation of fact or an opinion based on allegedly accurate facts that is given in one of the following circumstances:
Essentially, it is a crime to knowingly lie about something after swearing in some official capacity to tell the truth.
A fact is “material” only if it could reasonably affect the outcome or progression of an official proceeding. In other words, lying about something irrelevant to a case or legal proceeding may not constitute criminal perjury (although it could count as a related but separate criminal offense). A skilled attorney at our Mesa office can further explain these conditions of perjury and how they can be contested in a specific case.
As defined in A.R.S. §13-2702, perjury is a class 4 felony. This means that a person convicted of this offense faces up to 3.75 years of imprisonment upon conviction for a first offense, and far more if they have prior criminal history.
If a person knowingly makes a false sworn statement that is not material, they could be charged with false swearing. Under A.R.S. §13-2703, this offense is a class 6 felony. Additionally, unsworn falsification—knowingly making a false and material statement to a public servant—is a class 1 or 2 misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. Any of these charges could have a serious impact on a person’s freedom and future prospects, so it is crucial to work with a local perjury lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group for an aggressive defense strategy.
Although perjury is a serious criminal offense, our lawyers are skilled at successfully contesting these charges. There are many elements that the prosecution must establish to get a conviction, so our Mesa perjury lawyers can use various strategies to disprove their case. To learn how we can fight for reduced penalties or case acquittal on your behalf, call us today to set up a consultation.