We’ve all seen Hollywood dramatizations of people in court being asked, “Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” In actuality, this solemn oath – or a version of it, at least – is legally required to be given by all witnesses as a commitment to tell the truth. If it is later discovered that a person intentionally lied while under oath, he or she can be charged with the crime of perjury and the witness in one trial then becomes the defendant in another. Perjury can also occur when someone signs their name to an official written document that they know contains false assertions.
Criminal defense attorney Dan Carman represents clients facing perjury charges in Lexington and throughout Kentucky. Dan’s background as a Judge Advocate “JAG” (defense lawyer and prosecuting attorney) for Marine Corps and Navy personnel charged with felonies gives him a unique insight into both sides of the legal process. He knows how the Kentucky criminal justice system operates and will work closely with you every step of the way. The Carman Law Firm provides skilled legal representation to ensure the best possible results under the circumstances of each case. Use the convenient online inquiry form or call (859) 685-1055 for a free initial consultation.
KY Perjury Laws
Perjury in Kentucky results from willfully and knowingly lying after taking an oath to tell the truth. The most serious charge of perjury in the first degree occurs when a person:
- Makes a material false statement, which he does not believe, in any official proceeding under an oath required or authorized by law; or
- Makes a material false statement which he does not believe in a subscribed written instrument for which an oath is required or authorized by law, with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his official functions when such person is subscribing a warrant accusing his spouse of an offense under KRS Chapter 510.
Perjury in the second degree is committed when a person makes a material false statement which he does not believe in a subscribed written instrument for which an oath is required or authorized by law with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his official functions.
First degree perjury is a Class D felony that carries a potential sentence of 1 to 5 years in prison and a fine reaching up to $10,000. Second degree perjury is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a potential sentence of 90 days to 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $500.
Charges of perjury can be very difficult to prove since intent is one of the critical elements. An experienced attorney can raise several defenses on your behalf. One common tactic is arguing that allegedly misleading testimony was true from a literal perspective. This is especially effective if the questions that prompted the testimony were not very specific. Another common defense is proving that the witness did not understand the question in the proper context. It may also be possible to successfully show that the misstatement was immaterial or that the person accused of providing false testimony made a mistake, remembered facts inaccurately, did not know it was false at the time (perhaps was given incorrect information), or corrected the misstatement before it had any impact.
Give Lexington, KY perjury defense attorney Dan Carman the opportunity to listen to your version of events and help you make informed decisions regarding the best course of action. If you are facing a perjury charge or are being investigated for perjury, contact the Carman Law Firm today to set up a complimentary consultation to discuss your particular situation and how we may best represent you. A perjury conviction can impact your personal life and your professional ambitions. Minimize the potential effect by calling us at (859) 685-1055 or filling out this online contact form.