The Crime of Perjury in New York
Perjury is a serious crime in New York. In New York, you can face harsh penalties if convicted of perjury. However, because the burden of proof for perjury is significant, defense attorneys often have a strong chance of beating these charges. If you are facing perjury charges in New York, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the charges against you and the penalties you stand to face. Contact an attorney who can help you prepare a strong defense strategy.
Simply put, perjury occurs when you make false statements under oath. However, for it to be considered perjury, you must have intentionally made the false statements. In New York, there are three different types of perjury charges. There is perjury in the third, second, and first degree.
Perjury in the Third Degree
According to New York Penal Law § 210.05, the offense of perjury in the third degree occurs when you make a false statement that you don’t believe is true while giving testimony or when under oath in a written instrument. Perjury in the third degree is classified as a Class A misdemeanor offense.
Perjury in the Second Degree
Perjury in the second degree is codified in New York Penal Law § 210.10. A person commits perjury in the second degree when they make a false statement in a written instrument that is material to the matter involved, and the false statement is meant to mislead a public servant. Perjury in the second degree is classified as a Class E felony offense.
Perjury in the First Degree
According to New York Penal Law § 210.15, perjury in the first degree occurs when a person makes a false statement, and the statement consists of testimony and is material to the matter or proceeding in which it is made. Perjury in the first degree is classified as a Class D felony offense.
Penalties for Perjury in New York
If you are convicted of perjury in the third degree, you risk facing up to one year in jail, paying a fine of up to $1,000, or both. If you are found guilty of perjury in the second degree, you could spend up to four years in jail, pay a fine of $5,000, or both. Finally, if convicted of perjury in the first degree, you could be jailed for up to seven years, pay a fine of $5,000, or both.
It is vital to note that the penalties for perjury are subject to the judge’s discretion. This means a judge may decide to increase or lessen the penalties based on the circumstances of the case.
Possible Defenses to Perjury Charges
The most important thing the prosecutor must prove in a perjury case is that the defendant made the false statement intentionally. This can be hard to prove. A qualified criminal defense lawyer can evaluate the specifics of your case and determine which defenses you can use. The following are some of the possible defenses to perjury charges;
- The statement was not false
- You didn’t know the statement was false when you made it
- You were a victim of a perjury trap
- You gave the false statement under duress
A perjury trap is when the prosecutor asks questions that are unrelated to the matter at hand to get the witness to commit perjury.
Contact an NYC Criminal Attorney
If you are facing perjury charges in New York, contact the qualified NYC criminal attorney, Mark I. Cohen, to get help with your case.