Florida Perjury Lawyer

Before providing a testimony, every witness promises to tell the truth. Sometimes people intentionally lie under oath, which is a crime called perjury. However,  sometimes people offer false testimony because of a genuine misbelief, misunderstanding, or misremembering. That is not a crime, and a Florida perjury lawyer could look at all the facts surrounding a case to prepare the best potential defense for you.

When you are facing a criminal prosecution for perjury, honesty with your trusted criminal defense attorney is essential so you can have the best outcome for success.

Different Types of Perjury

Florida Statutes § 837 describes several types of perjury:

  • False official statements
  • Perjury in official proceedings
  • Perjury not in official proceedings
  • Perjury by contradictory statements
  • Incorrect information to law enforcement

One way to avoid perjury charges is to consult an attorney in Florida before talking to law enforcement or other investigators. A legal professional will not advise someone to lie to officials. Instead, they will guide them in answering questions honestly without incriminating themselves. Sometimes, this could require someone to refuse to answer questions.

Truth as a Defense

Contradictory statements are a type of perjury because the state does not have to allege which statement is false. However, a person could make contradictory remarks without committing perjury if they genuinely believe their statements are true. A legal professional is trained to handle such situations and could explain the best options for a case.

Lies to Law Enforcement

It is crucial to note that a person does not have to lie under oath to commit perjury. In some circumstances, lying to the police or other officials could be perjury, too. However, a statement must be corroborated by writing, audio recording, video recording, or additional witnesses to prove perjury.

Lying to law enforcement is usually a misdemeanor. The charge could become more severe if the underlying criminal investigation involves a missing child. It is a third-degree felony if the missing child suffers harm. An attorney may try to demonstrate that the perjury did not contribute to the child being missing or otherwise lead to those injuries.

Penalties for Perjury

Perjury could be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the conditions surrounding the lie. For instance, if someone lied under oath in an unofficial proceeding, it could be considered a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If a person committed perjury in an official proceeding, it would be a third-degree felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and a maximum of $5000 in fines.

The state must prove it was a material statement for perjury. A Florida attorney could explain the different perjury cases to a defendant to help them understand the potential consequences.

Talk to a Florida Perjury Attorney Today

The state’s laws view perjury harshly. In addition to penalizing people for lying under oath, it also targets those who lie to law enforcement or in official proceedings.

Perjury allegations could impact the outcome of the underlying criminal proceedings, and meeting with a Florida perjury lawyer could prove crucial for a successful outcome. Schedule a consultation with our firm to find out your best options.