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What to Know About Perjury and Lying Under Oath

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Chicago criminal defense attorneyMany of us may have heard of the terms "lying under oath" and "perjury" on TV or maybe in a movie. But only some people truly understand what these terms mean and what they entail. While lying under oath and perjury are unlawful, did you know they also constitute a federal crime? Lying under oath is strictly prohibited by federal law statutes. Suppose you have been accused of lying under oath or another federal offense; in such a case, you will need an aggressive legal defense to ensure your rights remain protected as a positive outcome is pursued in your case. 

What to Know When on the Witness Stand

When you provide testimony on the witness stand, you are legally bound to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This means that if you knowingly make false statements, you have thus placed yourself in serious legal jeopardy. Lying under oath is taken so seriously because it is considered an attempt to undermine the United States' legal system. As a result, lying under oath often leads to federal perjury charges. However, perjury does not involve refusing to answer a question or remaining silent while on the witness stand. A perjury charge cannot be brought upon someone for something they did not say. However, if you choose to remain silent on the witness stand or refuse to provide information, this may result in contempt of court charges and other negative legal consequences. 

Understanding the Intent of Perjury 

It is possible that someone entering a court proceeding only knows their side of whatever happened. Furthermore, it is also possible that they are unaware of certain information that the court may be interested in. Thankfully, unintentionally making false statements does not rise to perjury. As stated previously, perjury means that you intentionally provided incorrect information in an attempt to deceive the court. Please understand that lying under oath, even about information that may seem irrelevant, is never a wise idea. 

Contact an Illinois Federal Criminal Offense Attorney

People may choose to lie under oath for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are trying to hide their guilt in a crime, or maybe they feel compelled to lie since the pressure of the situation is too much for them to bear. Regardless of the reason, if you have found yourself up against federal criminal charges, consider contacting the compassionate and skillful Chicago federal criminal defense lawyers with Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. Call 312-629-0669 today for a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/[email protected]/part1/chapter79&edition=prelim

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