Testimony in a court of law is given under oath which is a promise to tell the truth, in it’s entirety and not add to or embellish upon the truth. If any information is given that is misleading, does not tell the whole truth or is false, this is perjury. The same applies to any written statements that are given or other documents that are legally binding. For example, lying on a tax return is considered to be perjury.
Perjury In South Carolina
Perjury is a very serious accusation and a person found to be providing false testimony can be charged with a felony. However, perjury related to documents may only receive a misdemeanor charge. Perjury in a federal court breaks federal laws and harsher penalties may apply.
Penalties For Committing Perjury in South Carolina
The maximum sentence that can be received when charged with a misdemeanor for falsifying documents is 6 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $100.
Class 6 felony charges for lying under oath can result in a prison sentence of between 1 and 5 years and the court may use it’s own discretion in evaluating an amount that the accused should be fined.
If a lawyer commits perjury they can be disbarred which means that they will no longer be able to legally practice law.
A conviction will result in a criminal record that will affect the perjurer for the rest of their lives.
Perjury In Virginia
Perjury in Virginia is referred to as a crime against justice and constitutes intentionally lying under oath or providing false testimony in a court of law.
Perjury may also result from falsely stating that a person a person is 18 years of age when applying for a marriage licence or entering into any other type of legally binding document.
Charges Related To Perjury
Virginia law takes this crime very seriously and a person found to be providing false information can be charged with a Class 5 felony. This will result in a permanent criminal record. The person may also never serve as a juror or in any office of trust, honor or profit under the Virginia Constitution.
Sentencing For A Perjury Conviction In Virginia
A Class 5 felony charge related to perjury carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500. However, the court may use it’s own discretion in deciding how much the convicted criminal should be fined.
This said, a lesser sentence of 12 months in jail and a fine of $100 is more often handed down by a jury or court of law.
It is highly recommended to get legal advice and representation in the case of a perjury charge. A lawyer specializing in criminal law can ensure that the lesser sentence is received rather than the maximum penalty. If the maximum sentence is handed down, a period of ten years could be served in a prison as a result of lying under oath.