Perjury Charges

EXPERIENCED. AGGRESSIVE. HOUSTON CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW FIRM: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp

Perjury Charges Defense

Houston Perjury Charges Lawyers :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp

Chapter 37.02 of the Texas Penal Code defines perjury as occurring whenever someone “makes a false statement under oath or swears to the truth of a false statement previously made, and the statements is required or authorized by law to be made under oath.” To be guilty of forswearing, an individual must have had an “intent to deceive” and “knowledge of the statement’s meaning.”

In addition, giving false testimony can be elevated to aggravated perjury if the statement given was “material” in nature. This happens whenever the outcome of a particular situation depended largely on the nature of the false statement.

Facing accusations? The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp can help: 713-868-6100

Penalties for Lying under Oath

Perjury can be either a Class A misdemeanor or a third-degree felony and carries consequences that can include:

Misdemeanor

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $4,000

Felony

  • Between two and 10 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Perjury is also considered a crime of moral turpitude, and this could affect one’s ability to find work after being released from incarceration. Those who have served time for giving false testimony could also be restricted from participating in certain activities such as becoming a scouting volunteer.

Defenses to Perjury Charges

The one defense allowed for perjury under Texas law is retraction. If an individual retracted his or her statement before the end of official proceedings, they are precluded from being prosecuted. In order to use this defense, that person must have retracted the statement before it became apparent that it was false in nature. Once it is apparent that a witness is giving false testimony, that opportunity is then closed.

In some cases, witnesses lie on the advice of their attorney. This is strictly against the code of legal ethics each lawyer swears to abide by when becoming licensed. While not a defense in itself, if it can be proven that an attorney convinced a client to lie, the court could treat the case more leniently than they would have otherwise. The attorney in question could also face sanctions from the State Bar of Texas.

Seek Help From a Perjury Charges Attorney in Houston, TX

The law tends to aggressively pursue those who have given false testimony, as honesty is a key component of our justice system. In order to defend against perjury charges, you’ll need the help of an aggressive defense attorney. Matthew Sharp is a criminal defense lawyer who is dedicated to fighting for your rights. For more information, give The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp a call today.


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