Washington DC Federal Perjury Lawyer

While most people in Washington, DC know they can be penalized for perjury if they deliberately lie while under oath, they may not understand that an unintentionally false or incorrect statement can cause tremendous problems. They may also not be aware that perjury may be committed in situations outside of the courtroom.

If you are facing perjury charges or concerned that you may be charged in the future, it is a good idea to talk to an experienced Washington DC federal perjury lawyer as soon as possible. A dedicated federal criminal lawyer could help you understand your situation and any potential ramifications, and then work to defend your rights and seek a positive outcome to the situation.

Penalties in Washington, DC

Perjury and subornation of perjury are addressed in three different federal statutes, but the potential penalties are the same. Those convicted may be sentenced to up to five years in prison and face fines up to $250,000.

General Federal Perjury Statute

Many perjury cases fall under the general perjury statute set forth in 18 U.S.C. §1621. This statute describes two basic perjury situations.

In each case, to be guilty, a person must be willfully professing the truth of a material statement which that person knows is not true. In the first situation, that statement is made under oath in a situation where U.S. law allows for an oath to be administered. The second situation includes any statement or declaration in which the person making the statement asserts that the “foregoing is true and correct” “under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America.”

These provisions are fairly broad and cover not only verbal statements made under oath or in a hearing, but also statements made on documents. The government must prove that the person making the statement knew it to be false and that the statement was material to the matter at hand. So, these aspects may provide grounds for a defensive strategy. In addition, the common law “two witness” rule often applies to prosecution under this statute, meaning that in many situations, there must be two sources of evidence to establish the perjury.

Subornation of Perjury and Perjury in Federal Court

Additional federal statutes prohibit subornation of perjury and perjury in federal court or before a federal grand jury. A person commits subornation of perjury if they procure another person to commit perjury. This offense is penalized as if those procuring others actually committed the perjury themselves.

To make it simpler to prosecute federal perjury, Congress enacted a second perjury statute which is codified in 18 U.S.C. §1623. While it is similar to the general perjury statute, this statute does not require evidence from two sources. However, it only applies to statements in federal courts and grand juries.

Get Help from a Washington DC Federal Perjury Attorney Today

Perjury is a term thrown around so frequently in courtroom dramas on TV that the severity of the offense is misunderstood by many people in Washington. In addition, perjury allegations often arise in the midst of other proceedings.

Nevertheless, perjury charges carry the potential for serious penalties and these charges should be addressed as soon as practicable. A Washington DC federal perjury lawyer may assist in analyzing the statements at issue, the rationale behind those statements, and the government’s case to devise the best defensive strategy for your situation. For more information or to get started, call now for a consultation.