ARRESTED? INVESTIGATED? ARRESTADO? INVESTIGADO?
When you commit perjury this means that you have lied under oath, or you have made a false statement at a legal proceeding. Florida state laws separate perjury offenses that have been committed at official proceedings from those that have occurred out of official proceedings. If you have been charged with perjury, this is a criminal offense and you could face imprisonment and fines if convicted. You will need experienced Miami criminal defense attorney AlbertQuirantes Esq. to ensure you have the best possible defense.
Under Florida Statutes Section 837.011-837.07 ‘official proceeding’ is defined as any legal proceeding that has taken place when a judge or magistrate is present , or any other person who is able to take a person’s deposition or testimonythrough a court, government agency, legislative body oradministrative agency. Examples of a non-official proceedinginclude statements that have been made by you on an application for a marriage license and statements made when answering questions presented by an insurance company when you are responding to a claim you have submitted.
In order to establish if perjury has taken place, whether at an official or unofficial proceeding, the prosecutor has to provide proof that an oath by you to speak the truth took place and that you truly understood the consequences of taking the oath. On top of this the prosecutor has to provide the proof that you knew that you had made a false statement. However, if you believe that the statements you made were true, it may be difficult for a perjury prosecution to take place.
Defenses against a perjury charge
• Recantation can be used by you as a defense if you acknowledge making a false statement during the currentlegal proceeding. The false statement must not have had any major effect on the legal proceeding and you must have admitted to making the false statement before anyone else points out the perjury.
• Duress can be used if you can show that you committed perjury because you were threatened or coerced to do so. To prove this you must show that you are afraid of the consequences of making a false statement.
Penalties for perjury
A likely punishment for committing perjury will depend on if the perjury took place at an official or unofficial proceeding. If you are convicted of perjury at an official legal proceeding, Florida state law permits the prosecutor to convict you on a charge of 3rd degree felony which could mean a prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or bothpenalties. If the perjury took place at an unofficial proceeding, a 1st degree misdemeanor charge could be imposed attracting a prison term up to 12 months, a fine up to $1,000, or both.
If you committed perjury at a legal proceeding for capital felony when a conviction leads to either life imprisonment with no parole or the death penalty, Florida law regards this perjury offense as 2nd degree felony attracting up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, or both penalties.
Any criminal conviction can have serious consequences for you and your family. However, you cannot be considered guilty unless it has been shown beyond reasonable doubt that you committed perjury. Don’t risk your job, freedom and future. Contact Miami criminal defense attorney Albert Quirantes Esq. on 305-644-1800 today!