A perjury charge is an accusation that you were untruthful in a sworn statement. Intentionally lying in a sworn statement can lead to criminal consequences, including potential jail time.
You need to be proactive in contacting a Manchester perjury lawyer to help resolve the allegations and protect your rights. A criminal attorney at Ruane Attorneys can advise you and build a tailored defense to the charges.
Situations That Could Lead to a Perjury Charge
Many believe perjury only refers to giving false testimony as a witness at a trial. However, other actions could also be criminal perjury. Connecticut General Statute §53a-156 describes perjury as intentionally making a false statement in an official proceeding.
Civil and criminal matters often require people to give depositions or submit affidavits. Knowingly making a false statement in a deposition or affidavit is perjury. Many applications, such as applications for professional and driver’s licenses, require the applicant to affirm that their answers are truthful under penalty of perjury.
There may be various explanations for a person’s alleged perjury. They may have misunderstood the question or believed they were answering truthfully. A Manchester attorney can review the basis for a perjury charge and craft an effective defense.
The Prosecutor Must Prove All Elements of the Charge
Every crime has several elements a prosecutor must prove to obtain a conviction. The prosecutor’s evidence for one or more elements might be weak, providing an opportunity for the defense. If a perjury lawyer can cast sufficient doubt on the prosecutor’s proof, a jury cannot convict the accused of the crime.
A perjury charge requires the prosecutor to prove the following elements:
- The accused intentionally made a statement in an official proceeding or under oath
- The statement was false
- The accused knew it was false when they made the statement
- The statement was material
Prosecutors must have compelling evidence of all elements to obtain a conviction on a perjury charge.
Proof of Intent
The prosecutor must prove that the accused intended to make a false statement. Establishing what was in a person’s mind at a particular moment is challenging, and prosecutors usually rely on circumstantial evidence to prove intent. If a Manchester attorney has evidence that the accused had no intention to lie, they could defeat the perjury charge.
Proof of Materiality
A material statement bears a connection to the subject of the proceedings and has an impact on the outcome. However, a statement does not need to be essential to the outcome to be material. Depending on the specific facts of the case, a perjury lawyer at our firm could argue that the statement had no impact on the proceedings and therefore was not material.
Proof of Falsity
The prosecutor must prove that the statement the accused made was false when they made it. Truth is a complete defense to a perjury charge.
Consequences of a Perjury Conviction in Manchester
Perjury is a Class D felony charge. The potential consequences include a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000.
A Manchester perjury lawyer can often negotiate a sentence that avoids prison time. However, because perjury is considered a crime of moral turpitude, a conviction has far-reaching implications apart from a criminal sentence.
For instance, a conviction for perjury could impact a defendant’s immigration status if they are not a U.S. citizen. It also could disqualify them from holding certain professional licenses and bidding on government contracts. Ruane Attorneys works to prevent these consequences by exploring every possible defense to the perjury charges.
Contact a Manchester Attorney if You Face Perjury Charges
When facing perjury charges, you must take the matter seriously. Even if you think you can explain your way out of it, these cases often involve nuances and require significant legal knowledge.
Do not risk your future. Consult a Manchester perjury lawyer immediately if you face these charges. Call Ruane Attorneys today to set up a consultation.