Exercising the right to a skilled perjury attorney is crucial if facing a perjury charge. The Treasure Coast perjury lawyers at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. are highly skilled at representing clients charged with perjury.
Committing perjury is a serious offense because it attempts to derail the justice system and keep it from achieving its primary objective—discovering the truth. Someone facing a perjury charge may not be conversant with this offense’s steep punishments. The consequences of a perjury charge include jail term, probation, and fines.
If you’re charged with perjury in Florida, it’s paramount that you mount a solid defense to avoid the rather stiff punishments. Working with a seasoned Treasure Coast perjury attorney can give you a fighting chance and avoid a conviction.
Hire the Best Perjury Attorney in Treasure Coast
Meltzer & Bell, P.A. is a Treasure Coast criminal defense firm with decades of combined experience in perjury and criminal trials. Founded by a former public defender and prosecutor, our law firm is equipped to handle state and federal cases in the entire Florida state. Our crack-shot team has successfully defended more than 500 cases through jury trials, and we have plenty of trial experience.
A Treasure Coast perjury conviction can be devastating. The consequences of a guilty verdict include a jail sentence and a criminal record, both of which can upend your life. Besides the jail term or probation, you’re likely to incur fines of up to $10,000.
If you’re charged with perjury in the Treasure Coast area, including Palm City, Vero Beach South, Hobe Sound, Lakewood Park and Port Salerno, contact the skilled lawyers at Melzer & Bell, P.A. Our dedicated perjury defense attorneys are reachable around the clock, seven days a week. Schedule a free consultation and have a skilled perjury lawyer at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., evaluate your case.
We defend perjury cases in all three Treasure Coast counties—Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River. We also offer legal counsel to clients facing perjury charges in the surrounding counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.
At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we are committed to helping you defend your freedom and exercise your right to a free and fair trial. Our team comprises the best criminal defense attorneys in Florida. We have decades of trial experience, and we’ll mount an aggressive defense to perjury and get you a favorable outcome during the trial. Call today for a free consultation.
Definition of Perjury in Treasure Coast
Perjury is a serious offense that occurs when a person lies under oath. Crimes of perjury come with severe punishments and penalties because they represent an attempt to undermine the justice system. However, these charges are rarely enforced because they’re difficult to prosecute.
The perjury statute was enacted to compel witnesses to tell the truth during official proceedings. The truth is paramount to the criminal justice system’s integrity—justice can’t exist without the truth.
Chapter 837 of the Florida Statutes states that a person may commit a crime of perjury if they:
- Appear before an official authorized to administer oaths or affirmations
- Take an oath that compels them to speak truthfully
- Makes a false statement under oath
- Knowingly make a false statement
Florida law uses three statutes to define and prohibit crimes of perjury.
- Florida Statutes §837.02 covers perjury in an official proceeding
- Florida Statutes §837.012 covers perjury during a non-official proceeding
- Florida Statutes §837.021 covers perjury by contradictory statements
Penalties for Perjury in Treasure Coast
While all three instances of perjury in Florida involve lying under oath, they carry different penalties and punishments.
Perjury during an Official Proceedings
An official proceeding involves a legislative, judicial, administrative or an official authorized to consider evidence under oath. In Florida, this may include testimony before an administrative law judge, a commissioner, a hearings officer, a notary, or a legal referee. You may perjure yourself if you make a false statement about a material matter while under oath.
In Treasure Coast, perjury in an official proceeding is a third-degree felony punishable by five years in prison sentence, five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
Perjury During Non-Official Proceeding
Non-official proceedings include routine questioning by an insurance company or statements made while applying for a marriage license. While less severe, these crimes of perjury comprise a first-degree misdemeanor. They carry a one-year jail term, one-year probation, and a $1,000 fine.
Perjury by Contradictory Statements
Perjury by contradictory statements occurs if you make two or more contradictory material statements during one or more official proceedings. In Florida, this form of perjury comprises a third-degree felony that carries a five years jail term, five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
Perjury During an Official Capital Prosecution Proceeding
Making contradictory statements during official capital prosecution proceedings is a second-degree felony. In Florida, perjury in a capital felony proceeding is a second-degree felony is punishable by 15 years imprisonment, 15 years of probation, and $10,000. Florida requires a judge to impose a minimum prison sentence of 34.5 months.
Defense to Perjury Charges in Treasure Coast
Mounting a strong defense to perjury starts during the pre-trial and trial defenses. When the case goes to trial, your skilled Treasure Coast criminal defense attorney will use two special defenses to defend you against a crime of perjury.
Technically, materiality isn’t a defense under Florida Law but a threshold issue. Your defense attorney will seek to demonstrate that the untrue statement wasn’t related to the proceeding’s material matter. The judge has the final call on the matter, not the jury. The court may dismiss the perjury charge without trial if your attorney can prove that the false statement wasn’t related to a material matter.
A defense attorney may use recantation as a defense if the witness admits to making a false statement during the same continuous proceedings and:
- The false statement doesn’t profoundly affect the proceedings
- The witness made the admission before it became clear that the false statement would be or had been exposed.
Working with a qualified Perjury Defense Attorney in Treasure Coast
Perjury in Florida is a serious charge with equally severe punishment and penalties. Seeking qualified legal counsel gives you a fighting chance and may help safeguard your freedom. The skilled perjury attorneys at Melzer & Bell. P.A. can help you mount a strong defense. Our skilled criminal lawyers are available 24/7 for consultation. We serve clients in Treasure Coast and the surrounding counties.
Setup a free consultation at Meltzer & Bell at (772) 291-2534