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Perjury is a criminal offense that, in a nutshell, involves lying while under an oath to tell the truth. More specifically, it most often involves doing so intentionally for the purposes of impeding an official government function.

Having legal representation from a skilled Birmingham perjury lawyer could be essential when seeking to defend against such a charge. The costs of a conviction for perjury are steep, and the blemish it puts on your criminal background can be difficult to overcome. Reach out to a well-practiced defense attorney for help contesting any criminal allegations you are facing.

How Perjury Might Occur in Birmingham

Perjury is defined by Alabama Criminal Code §13A-10-101, which prohibits making a materially false statement in an official proceeding while under oath. This definition of perjury is important since it has several key components that a Birmingham attorney could use to defend someone accused of this specific criminal act.

The allegedly false statement must initially have been made while under oath and while the defendant was in an official proceeding. This may include various types of situations where an oath is involved, which could entail:

  • Trials
  • Depositions
  • Interrogatories
  • Sworn written statements
  • Notarized documents

The allegedly false statement must also be “material.” Trivial statements that have no importance on the official proceeding cannot amount to perjury, even if they are false.

False statements must be made intentionally or knowingly to amount to perjury in Birmingham. Mistakes of fact or a defendant’s unawareness of what happened are common defenses to claims of perjury. Individuals accused of perjury are advised to speak with a Birmingham attorney to learn which defenses may be available to them.

The Penalties for Perjury Conviction

In Birmingham, perjury is a Class C felony offense punishable by up to ten years in jail, with a minimum sentence of one year and one day. Also, fines associated with a Class C felony like perjury could be as high as $15,000.

It should be noted that these are just some of the setbacks that may come with a conviction for perjury in Birmingham, as there are additional collateral consequences that may persist even after a prison sentence ends. Those convicted of felony perjury may lose their right to vote or earn a professional license, and they may even have difficulty getting a job.

Since the alleged crime is also an offense that involves fraud or lying, the mark that a conviction puts on a defendant’s criminal history can be difficult to overcome. A dedicated perjury lawyer in Birmingham could fight for defendants and strive to keep these penalties from negatively impacting their future prospects.

A Birmingham Perjury Attorney Could Represent Defendants in Court

If you were accused of perjury in Birmingham or are about to make a statement in an official proceeding and wish to ensure that you have legal counsel on hand, you could benefit from the representation of a Birmingham perjury lawyer. The penalties of a conviction for perjury are not small and may impact your life even after the associated fines are paid and jail sentence completed. Call today to schedule a consultation and obtain the legal representation you may need to fight for a positive outcome in your case.