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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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California Penal Code Section 118 PC: Perjury

By Spodek Law Group | May 12, 2018
(Last Updated On: July 27, 2023)

Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 06:04 pm

Unveiling the Crime of Perjury in California: Understanding Penal Code 118

Knowingly Lying Under Oath: A Serious Offense

Perjury, as described in California Penal Code 118 PC, is the act of intentionally providing false testimony while under oath, which is considered a felony offense that can lead to up to four years of jail time. It is a crime that is taken very seriously in California because it can render critical testimony in a trial inadmissible or unusable.

Understanding Perjury Laws in California

Penal Code 118 perjury is defined as knowingly giving false testimony while under oath. An oath is an affirmation or other method that is authorized by law to affirm the truth of a statement. According to the language in this statute, a person commits perjury if they take an oath that they will testify before a competent tribunal, person, or officer, in any case where that oath is applicable, and then knowingly lie or provide false information.

PC 118 perjury laws apply to testimony in a courtroom or during a civil deposition, statements made in a sworn affidavit and declaration, and facts that are submitted in a driver’s license application.

Examples of Perjury in Action

Perjury can take various forms, and some common examples of a perjury offense include deliberately lying about the specifics of a crime during trial, falsely identifying a suspect on purpose, signing an affidavit knowingly in which there is false information, giving false information in a signed certificate or declaration, and willingly filling out a California driver’s license application falsely. In all these cases, the person committing perjury provides false or misleading testimony while knowing what they’re doing.

Defending Against a Perjury Charge

In order for a prosecutor to obtain a conviction for perjury, several factors must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If you or a loved one is accused of perjury, a possible defense strategy may involve throwing doubt on one or more of these elements. Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers can provide a detailed review of your case and help you mount a strong defense.

Perjury can have far-reaching consequences, such as making it difficult to obtain a professional license and affecting future employment prospects. If you’re facing perjury charges, it’s crucial to consult with experienced criminal defense attorneys who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.

When Is It Acceptable to Tell a Lie?

Exploring California’s Penal Code Section 118

Lies have been around for centuries, and the question remains: when is it acceptable to tell one? The answer, according to California law, is never when under oath. California Penal Code Section 118 deals with perjury, and it’s crucial to understand the law’s nuances to avoid criminal charges.

Perjury is the act of intentionally giving false information while under oath. The law requires five facets to be present for a person to be charged with perjury. First, the statement must be made under oath. Second, the individual must knowingly provide false information. Third, the information provided must be crucial to the legal matter at hand. Fourth, the individual must know they are making the statement under penalty of perjury. And fifth, the individual must intentionally provide false information while under oath.

For instance, if an individual intentionally provided the wrong date of birth when applying for a driver’s license, they could be charged with perjury. However, if the individual provided an incorrect weight, it would not constitute perjury because weight is not considered a material factor in a driver’s license application.

Defenses and Penalties for Perjury Charges

If you’ve been charged with perjury, there are a few defenses you can lodge, such as the mistake of fact defense. This defense applies if you genuinely believed the information you provided was true when you said it. Additionally, the accident defense applies if you did not intend to lie, such as misunderstanding a question. Remember, you must intentionally provide false information to be found guilty of perjury.

A perjury conviction is a felony in California, carrying a maximum sentence of four years in jail and a substantial fine. If the perjury is deemed aggravated, meaning it leads to the conviction of another person, the punishment could be as severe as life imprisonment or even death. A perjury conviction can severely impact future job prospects and the ability to obtain professional licenses.

In conclusion, always tell the truth when under oath. If you’re facing perjury charges, it’s essential to seek legal representation from an experienced lawyer immediately.

In California, perjury is the crime of intentionally giving false testimony while under oath. This is considered a felony offense and is punishable by up to four years in jail. Perjury can occur in various forms, such as lying during a trial, knowingly providing false information in an affidavit, or willfully falsifying a driver’s license application.

To be convicted of perjury, the prosecutor must prove several elements beyond a reasonable doubt, such as:

1. The statement was made under oath.
2. The individual knowingly provided false information.
3. The information provided was crucial to the legal matter at hand.
4. The individual knew they were making the statement under penalty of perjury.
5. The individual intentionally provided false information while under oath.

If you are facing perjury charges, it’s essential to consult with experienced criminal defense attorneys to help navigate the legal system and protect your rights. Some possible defense strategies include arguing that there was a mistake of fact, that the accused misunderstood a question, or that the accused did not intend to lie.

Ultimately, always tell the truth when under oath, and if you are facing perjury charges, seek legal representation from a knowledgeable lawyer.

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