“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” This is true both inside the courtroom and outside of it. When put under oath, you have a duty to tell the truth. The results of intentionally lying or misrepresenting the truth in a court of law can have disastrous consequences which include criminal charges.
You have rights when you are a defendant in a criminal case. One of the most important of these is the 5th amendment, which includes the right to remain silent. The government can not force you to testify and incriminate yourself. However, in many other situations, people are called to the stand, and must testify about issues that while not necessarily criminal, the temptation to lie about is too great. This may include lying to cover for a friend, or to conceal information that you don’t want to be made public. Those that give in to temptation may find themselves in deep trouble when they find themselves facing charges for perjury.
Section 4902 of the crimes code in Pennsylvania makes perjury a felony of the third degree. A person is guilty of perjury if they make a material statement believing it not to be true. A statement is material if it tends to affect the outcome of the proceedings. People make mistakes all the time, and might say things that turn out not to be true. Just because you make a false statement, doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty of perjury. It’s important to remember that the prosecution must also show that at the time you made the statement that you believed it wasn’t true. This is a difficult task for many prosecutors. Also it is a defense under this section if you retract the false statement before it becomes apparent the lie is going to be discovered and if it hasn’t affected the proceedings materially.
If you have an upcoming court proceeding and have questions about what your duties to testify are, you should consult with an attorney who can explain your legal rights to you. If you’ve already testified, and you find yourself facing perjury charges, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself. The first is to stop talking. Exercise your right to remain silent. Talking to the police or government is what got you in trouble in the first place. Next, its time to find a competent professional to do the talking for you. That’s where Attorney Frank Walker comes into the picture. With years of experience advocating for the citizens of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Attorney Walker can help you protect yourself, and mount a serious defense to the charges. Lines are open 24/7 at Walker law to better serve you.
Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer and Personal Injury Attorney with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia. Attorney Walker is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense, Super Lawyers and qualified as a Pennsylvania Death Penalty Defense Attorney.
If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident in WV or PA, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation following a serious accident or injury.