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Posted by on in Federal Crimes
Chicago federal perjury defense attorney

Most people have at least heard of perjury, and you probably realize that being accused of perjury is a serious matter. You might know that perjury means lying under oath, but did you know that it is a federal crime? There are a number of federal statutes that address and criminalize perjury and related false statements, but two, in particular, are used most often to prosecute perjury. Section 1621 of Title 18 of the United States Code is commonly used to prosecute perjury before administrative, legislative, and judicial bodies, while Section 1623 of Title 18 addresses false statements made before grand juries and federal courts.

While there are differences between these two statutes and their applicability, the overall definition of perjury remains largely the same. It may seem like a simple definition, but prosecutors must prove several distinct elements to obtain a conviction on perjury charges.

Perjury Can Only Occur Under Oath

Making false statements is not always perjury. In order for a false statement to constitute perjury, it must be made under oath. For example, if you are being questioned by the police and you make a statement that is not true, you cannot be found guilty of perjury because you did not swear an oath to tell the truth. To be considered “under oath,” a person must make a promise to give honest testimony, and the promise must be made before a person with the proper authority to administer such an oath, including an officer of the court.


Posted by on in Federal Crimes

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerIn its most basic form, perjury is defined as lying under oath and it is a federal offense. There are two federal statutes that define perjury. The first outlines general perjury, while the other defines making false declarations before a court or grand jury. Although these statutes differ slightly, with one requiring a federal court proceeding, the definition of the act of perjury largely remains the same. That definition may seem simple, but there are five elements that must be met in order for the prosecution to secure a conviction.

Perjury Must Happen Under Oath

A person can make false statements when they are not under oath and it is not considered perjury. For an offense to have been committed, a witness must have promised to provide honest statements to a person that has the authority to administer the oath, such as a court official. The proceeding in which someone takes an oath must also be considered “competent,” or comply with the law.


Posted by on in Federal Crimes

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerWhen a person makes statements under oath, they have sworn to tell the truth. If they intentionally lie, they may face perjury charges. A person providing sworn testimony knowing that it was false is often the first type of perjury people think of when they imagine this crime. There is another type of perjury under federal law, however: suborning perjury.

Suborning Perjury

BuzzFeed made headlines in January with a story surrounding suborning perjury. In their report, they state Trump committed the crime of suborning perjury after directing Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. Since that publication, CNN has reported Special counsel Robert Mueller has disputed the Buzzfeed report. Still, it has gotten people asking: what is suborning perjury?

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