Posted on July 8, 2018

Orange County Perjury Attorney – Penal Code 118 PC

Have you been arrested or accused of committing perjury? If so, retaining a reputable and experienced Orange County perjury attorney can be one of the most important decisions you make. Lying under oath can lead to serious consequences. The prosecution will waste no time in building a case against you. Therefore, you must act sooner than later by contacting an experienced criminal lawyer in Orange County to begin mounting your defense against the Government.

Overview of California Perjury

Contrary to popular belief, a person need not testify in court to commit perjury. Instead, perjury can occur by testifying untruthfully at a deposition or intentionally falsify a statement in an affidavit. Codified under penal code 118 pc, perjury is a straight felony that cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor.[1] Perjury can occur in several way which include:

  1. You took an oath to testify [or did in fact testify], declare, or certify truthfully under circumstances in which the oath of the State of California lawfully may be given;
  2. You knew the information your provided was false;
  3. The information was material;
  4. You knew you were making a statement under oath;
  5. You intended to falsify information under oath.[2]

Legal Defenses to PC 118

  • You did not willfully or intentionally convey or state false information;
  • Your statement under oath was actually true and accurate;
  • You were never admonished with an oat under penalty of perjury;
  • The information you conveyed was not material;
  • You did not know that you were making a statement under oath;
  • You honestly believed the statement you gave was true, even thought it was false.

Punishment & Sentencing

  • Sentencing range of 2, 3, or 4 years in the Orange County jail
  • Up to $10,000 in court fines & fees

Perjury contains the use of producing “false” information. Consequently, not only does a conviction carry severe imprisonment consequences, but it also could affect your immigration status and/or your ability to maintain or gain state licensing.

Examples of California Perjury

Dan lost his job as a construction worker because business was slow. He filed for unemployment with the state of California. On the unemployment questionnaire contained a clause stating that you declare under penalty of perjury that you are not employed or making any form of income. Dan signed the document containing the clause and subsequently began getting government assisted money. The state of California instituted an investigation against Dan revealing that he works part-time as a restaurant server earning money under the table. Dan was arrested and charged with perjury. In this case, Dan would likely be charged with perjury, grand theft, and unemployment fraud. Because Dan signed the unemployment application acknowledging the oath clause, the prosecution will argue that Dan committed perjury after willfully failing to disclose that he works under the table making side money as a waiter.

Sarah was the victim of an assault and battery after walking home one evening from a local bar. She was unable to identify the assailant but could describe his build and race. The police were subsequently able to make an arrest of Dan who admitted to the assault. Subsequently at trial, Sarah testified that she is 100% positive that Dan was the one who committed the assault against her because she observed his face. In reality, Sarah merely pointed and identified Dan because the detective told her that he admitted to the assault. In this case, Sarah would face perjury charges because she testified in court knowing that she could not identify Dan as the culprit and was merely relying on the detective’s representations. Additionally, Sarah’s testimony was material to the case because it served as evidence identifying the suspect.

Contact an Experienced Orange County Perjury Defense Attorney

Contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers today to schedule a free consultation if you’ve been charged with perjury under PC 118. We will review your case, determine the best defenses for your specific situation, and answer the questions you have. The choices and decisions you make today will affect the rest of your life. Do not hesitate to call us for help. Contact us today to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

 

 

Legal References:

[1] California Penal Code 118(a) – defined: (“(a) Every person who, having taken an oath that he or she will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly before any competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any of the cases in which the oath may by law of the State of California be administered, willfully and contrary to the oath, states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, and every person who testifies, declares, deposes, or certifies under penalty of perjury in any of the cases in which the testimony, declarations, depositions, or certification is permitted by law of the State of California under penalty of perjury and willfully states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of perjury.”)

[2] See CALCRIM No. 2640: https://www.justia.com/criminal/docs/calcrim/2600/2640/

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