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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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Penal Code 132 PC – Offering False Evidence – California Law

By Spodek Law Group | July 9, 2021

The California statute Penal Code 132 PC makes it illegal to present false written evidence in a legal process. In California, this is considered a felony of obstruction of justice.

The language in 132 PC states that “Every person who upon any trial, proceeding, inquiry, or investigation whatever, authorized or permitted by law, offers in evidence, as genuine or true, any book, paper, document, record, or other instrument in writing, knowing the same to have been forged or fraudulently altered or ante-dated, is guilty of felony.”

Some Examples of Offering False Evidence

  • Submitting a rewritten will in a civil case.
  • Faking a receipt to give to the cops during a criminal inquiry.
  • Providing a lawyer with a forged contract that will be utilized in court.

Legal defenses are available to a defendant who is facing an indictment under this act. No knowledge, no legal proceeding, and/or entrapment are all common defenses.

Penalties You Could Face on Conviction

A felony charge is filed if these statutes are broken. The offence is punishable by either California state prison or felony (or formal) probation for up to three years.

The California criminal defense attorneys at Spodek Law Group will teach you the following in this article:

1. Under what circumstances is it a crime to offer false evidence?

2. What legal defenses are there?

3. What penalties can I face on conviction?

4. Are there immigration consequences connected to offering false evidence?

5. Can a person get a conviction expunged from their record?

6. Does a conviction on a 132 PC charge affect gun rights?

7. What related offenses are there?

1. Under what circumstances is it a crime to offer false evidence?

To prove a 132 PC case, the prosecutor must show the following facts:

  1. the defendant offered or presented false written evidence in a court procedure, 
  2. the accused knew the evidence was false when he offered it, and 
  3. the accused knew the evidence was false when he offered it.

This portion of the statute only applies to written evidence, such as wills, receipts, contracts, and records.

Defining Terms

The meanings of the terms “offer,” “legal procedure,” and “knowledge” are frequently questioned under this regulation.

The word “Offer”

A person offers evidence when he of she tries to present evidence to a jury or judge for the purposes of this statute.

Note that a person can be found guilty under PC 132 if: 

  1. he or she provides false evidence to his attorney, and 
  2. it is introduced into the judicial process in methods other than being revealed to a jury.

The term “Legal proceeding”

Under these statutes, a person is only guilty if he or she provides false evidence in a court action. This includes civil and criminal jury trials, for example.

Court hearings, administrative hearings, investigations, and legal inquiries are all included in the phrase.

What constitutes “Knowing”?

Only if an accused knowingly produces false evidence is he or she found guilty under PC 132.

This means he or she must: 

  1. be aware that the evidence is fake or falsified, and 
  2. nonetheless offer it.

2. What legal defenses are there?

A legal defense can help a defendant beat a charge.  No knowledge, no legal proceeding, and/or entrapment are three typical defenses.

The “No knowledge” defense

Remember that under this provision, a person is only guilty if he knowingly offers false evidence. This means that an accused can claim ignorance of the required knowledge as a defense. Perhaps someone else fabricated evidence, which the accused subsequently submitted.

The “No legal proceeding” defense

Only if a defendant submits false evidence in a legal hearing is he guilty under Penal Code 132. As a result, an accused can claim that while he provided false evidence, it was not in the course of a judicial proceeding.

The “Entrapment” defense

Suspects cannot be enticed into committing a crime by police. Entrapment is the term for this type of “luring.” It refers to excessive official behavior such as intimidation, harassment, fraud, or threats. Entrapment is a legal defense that can be utilized if the accused can establish that he only committed the offense as a result of the entrapment.

3. What penalties can I face on conviction?

A criminal charge will be filed if this statute is broken.

The offence is punishable by either California state prison or felony (or formal) probation for up to three years.

4.  Are there immigration consequences connected to offering false evidence?

If you are convicted of providing false evidence, it will have a detrimental impact on your immigration status.

This offense, according to a California court, entails moral turpitude.

This is an issue since “crimes involving moral turpitude” can lead to a non-citizen being deported or being declared inadmissible.

5. Can a person get a conviction expunged from their record?

If convicted of this offense, a person may be eligible for expungement.

In general, if a person is sentenced to state prison, he or she will not be eligible for an expungement. This means that if a defendant did not receive a sentence to state prison, but was instead sentenced to felony probation and successfully finished it, he may be eligible for an expungement.

6. Does a conviction on a 132 PC charge affect gun rights?

A defendant’s gun rights will be taken away if he is convicted.

Convicted felons are forbidden from purchasing or possessing a firearm under California law.

Because giving false evidence is a criminal violation, a conviction would result in the loss of a defendant’s firearms rights.

7. What related offenses are there?

There are three crimes related to presenting false evidence. These are:

  1. preparing false evidence – CALIFORNIA PC 134,
  2. the perjury statute – CALIFORNIA PC 118, and
  3. The law against destroying or concealing evidence – CALIFORNIA PC 135.

For extra assistance…

We invite you to contact Spodek Law Group for more information or to speak with a criminal defense attorney about your case. We can provide you with a free consultation either in person or over the phone. We serve clients throughout the state of California, including the greater Los Angeles area, the San Fernando Valley, Orange County, Ventura, Long Beach, Riverside, Pasadena, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, San Diego, Napa County, Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Jose.

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