California Perjury Law (Penal Code 118 PC) is defined as knowingly making a false statement after taking an oath to tell the truth. You will be charged with perjury if you lie when testifying court, in a signed declaration, affidavit, or certificate, and lying in government applications.
Perjury is a felony in the state of California, and can be punishable with up to 4 years in prison. First time offenders with no prior criminal record may be looking at no jail time, but a formal probation and monetary fines are likely.
A Perjury conviction can affect your life in many ways, it can keep you from gaining employment or housing, and can affect your reputation. The outcome you will face depends largely on your criminal defense attorney. Knowledge, Skill and experience are all traits your attorney needs to meet your legal needs.
In order to prove you are guilty, the prosecutor must first prove that you knowingly gave a false answer after taking an oath of to tell the truth, you signed a sworn statement when you knew it contained false information, and that you completely understood the question that was asked to you when you committed perjury.
There are many defenses that apply to perjury cases, your attorney will asses the situation and apply the best defense for your situation. Some common defenses when facing perjury charges are, the defendants false statement was a mistake not a lie, the question asked to the defendant was not clearly understood, or the defendant was not under oath when the question was asked.
In California Perjury crimes are taken very seriously, this means that each case is handled differently. Often Innocent people are accused of perjury and can find themselves in a difficult situation, contacting an attorney when you are facing perjury charges or are under investigation for perjury is highly recommended.
Penal Code 118 PC
(a) Every person who, having taken an oath that he or she will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly before any competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any of the cases in which the oath may by law of the State of California be administered, willfully and contrary to the oath, states as true any material matter which he or
she knows to be false, and every person who testifies, declares, deposes, or certifies under penalty of perjury in any of the cases in which the testimony, declarations, depositions, or certification is permitted by law of the State of California under penalty of perjury and willfully states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of perjury.
This subdivision is applicable whether the statement, or the testimony, declaration, deposition, or certification is made or subscribed within or without the State of California.
(b) No person shall be convicted of perjury where proof of falsity rests solely upon contradiction by testimony of a single person other than the defendant. Proof of falsity may be established by
direct or indirect evidence.