Truthful testimony is the cornerstone of the American judicial system. If it is found that a person has been less than truthful in testimony before the court or under oath, they could be charged with perjury. Because so much relies on truthful testimony, the court treats this crime very seriously. If it can be shown that you lied under oath, you may be charged with perjury.
One element of perjury that is vital to securing a conviction is showing that the person intentionally lied. It is not enough to show that testimony was incorrect but rather show that the lie was intentional and meant to deceive the court. Since intent is so vital in proving this crime, a Virginia perjury attorney will likely look to show that the lie was not intentional but rather the product of a mistake. The exact nature of your defense will rely on the facts of your case, however, and cannot be known until a Virginia perjury lawyer has had a chance to review your case.
Perhaps the most famous case of perjury resulted in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Because it was alleged that he had lied under oath in regards to his extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky, Congress attempted to remove him from office. His defense relied on the definition of “sexual relations” and what constitutes such an act. This put the issue of perjury directly in the public eye and showed just how serious the consequences can be from lying under oath.
It is not only lying in court that can lead to these charges but also lying in legal documents or documents to the court. For instance, lying on a marriage certificate can lead to charges of perjury. Because of the legal entanglement that results from a marriage, it is vital that people be truthful when it comes to applying for a license.
If you are convicted of perjury in Virginia, you may never be allowed to hold any office of honor, profit or trust and may never serve as a juror in court. A perjury conviction is punishable as a class 5 felony.
Perjury is a serious offense and a conviction can follow you for years to come. If you are facing perjury charges, contact the Law Offices of Patrick N. Anderson and Associates today. We will treat you like family and work hard to defend you. We are experienced and want to help you get the representation you deserve. Our legal services cover the Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, and Northern Virginia parts.