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Miami Perjury Defense Attorney
What is a Perjury Charge Under Florida Law Statute §837?
Perjury is the act in which any person willfully misrepresents their statements or otherwise lies while under oath in a court of law. Perjury must be proven in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.
§837.011 of Florida code lists the plethora of scenarios that constitute perjury. However, there are commonalities between each scenario: there must be either a written or oral testimony or deposition (gesticulations or silence cannot qualify as perjury) and the testimony or deposition must be made under oath before a person who is authorized to administer it (judge, notary public, court republic, general or special magistrate, referee, hearing examiner, or commissioner).
Under Florida law, you may be charged with perjury if:
- You falsify a statement associated with an unofficial proceeding
- You give false information while testifying in a courtroom
- You make contradictory statements during an official proceeding
- You provide false information in a police report
- You give false information during a police investigation
While it can be scary to be charged with this offense, the state must prove that you willfully lied while under oath. Simply misspeaking or failing to recall a series of events accurately should not carry with it a criminal record and prison sentence. Therefore, it is important you contact The Hoffman Firm to have our Miami perjury defense attorney prepare your defense. Evan Hoffman takes an aggressive approach to litigation and combines it with his former prosecution experience. He has had numerous successes both inside and outside the courtroom.
If you are convicted of perjury, the penalties are dependent on the severity of the circumstances. If you commit perjury during an official proceeding, it is a third-degree felony and you may face up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
In the event the official proceeding involves a capital felony punishable by a lifetime prison sentence or the death penalty, perjury is considered a second-degree felony and carries a maximum 15-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.
False statements to police that don’t involve official proceedings are first degree misdemeanors that carry a penalty of up to 1 year in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000. If you perjure yourself and you’re a defendant in a criminal trial, the punishment for perjury will be added to your sentence for the underlying crime.
The Hoffman Firm Perjury Legal Counsel
Know that there are defenses for perjury charges. Any person who, during that same criminal proceeding, recants their prior statements cannot be charged with perjury. Your Miami perjury defense lawyer may also be able to argue that the statement you made was made under duress; they may be able to argue that you had a reasonable fear of consequences had you not made the false statements under oath.
Alternatively, if you simply misremembered a sequence of events, it can be argued that you did not intentionally make a false statement during the course of an official proceeding. The state will have to prove that you intentionally did so.
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