New York Perjury Charges: An In-Depth Look
Perjury involves making false statements under oath, which is a serious offense in New York. This article provides an in-depth look at perjury charges in New York, including the laws, penalties, defenses, and real-world examples.
What is Perjury in New York?
Perjury is defined in New York as intentionally making a false statement under oath that the person does not believe is true. This applies to oral testimony as well as written statements made under oath.
There are several degrees of perjury charges in New York:
- Third Degree – Simply making a false sworn statement. This is a Class A misdemeanor.
- Second Degree – Making a false sworn written statement with intent to mislead a public servant. This is a Class E felony.
- First Degree – Making a false sworn statement consisting of testimony that is material to the proceeding. This is a Class D felony.
The most serious perjury offense is First Degree. Testimony is considered material if it reflects on the matter being considered and is relevant even just to the witness’s credibility.
Real-World Perjury Cases
Here are some real-world examples of perjury charges in New York:
- A woman was charged with First Degree Perjury for making false statements under oath during a contentious custody dispute. She convinced two witnesses to lie and support her claim that her ex-husband assaulted her. When they later recanted, she was charged with perjury.
- A man lied on a pistol permit application about having a prior felony conviction in order to obtain a permit. He was charged with Making a Punishable False Written Statement for this perjury.
- After a domestic violence incident, the victim tried to recant her statement and claim she fabricated the allegations. Prosecutors charged her with perjury for the false statements she initially made under oath in the domestic incident report.
- A defendant in a criminal trial made inconsistent sworn statements – one at a deposition and another at trial. He was charged with perjury based on the irreconcilable contradiction, without designating which specific statement was false.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you are facing perjury charges, it is critical to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. A knowledgeable lawyer can:
- Thoroughly investigate the allegations and build the strongest defense
- Interview witnesses and gather exculpatory evidence
- Seek to get charges reduced or dismissed through motions or negotiations
- Advise you throughout the process so you understand your rights
- Represent you in court if the case goes to trial