Anyone facing perjury charges will want to consult with a Virginia criminal lawyer who can help clear his or her name. While many people know perjury charges result from lying in court or misrepresenting oneself, perjury can result from many other situations as well.
In the case of perjury charges, they may stem from any misrepresentation made to a court. While it is often thought of in relation to testimony made in court, perjury may also occur in writing.
Any lying or misrepresentation in legal documents such as marriage certificates or tax documents can bring about a perjury charge. Anyone convicted of perjury in the Commonwealth of Virginia is never allowed to hold an office of honor, profit or trust and may never serve as a juror in a court of law.
A court must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to establish a person did, in fact, perjure his or herself.
- They must prove a person made a false statement under oath or a false written statement.
- The prosecutor must prove the defendant did so both knowingly as well as willingly.
- Thirdly, the prosecutor must prove the information was material in the matter being heard or decided.
Someone convicted of perjury faces a class 5 felony, which may mean prison time up to 10 years, a fine of $2,500 or both.