Perjury – Punishment and Sentencing(California Penal Code Section 118 through 131)
If you pled guilty to or are convicted of this serious crime in California, you could be facing the following:
- Being placed on formal probation, with or without a condition that you serve up to one year in jail; or
- Two, three or four years in jail; and/or
- Being ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000.
A peace officer who commits perjury is also subject to prosecution. In this case, a prosecutor has discretion to charge the officer with either a misdemeanor or a felony – what is known as a “wobbler” offense – depending on the circumstances of the case.
If a peace officer is convicted of misdemeanor perjury, he or she faces up to one year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. A law enforcement agent convicted of felony perjury faces up to three years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.
Although extremely rare, if you commit or suborn perjury and by doing so it leads to the conviction and execution of any innocent person, you have committed a capital crime. In this case, the punishment for perjury could cause you to be sentenced to either:
- The death penalty; or
- Life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A capital sentence for committing or suborning perjury is dependent on a finding of true of an allegation or allegations of special circumstances (Penal Code Section 128).
Other Consequences of a Perjury Conviction
Perhaps more devastating than serving time in custody and/or paying a substantial fine, perjury is what is known as a “crime of moral turpitude.” The general legal definition of a crime of moral turpitude is a crime that involves:
- Dishonesty (including fraud); or
- Depraved, evil or otherwise anti-social conduct that “shocks the public conscience.”
Crimes of moral turpitude can have potentially life-altering and long term consequences, including:
- Permanently damaging your credibility. Like all felonies, a perjury conviction may be used to impeach your testimony in future legal proceedings. Essentially, nothing you say while under oath in the future may be believed;
- Loss of your professional license. You may be subject to disciplinary proceedings by your licensing board, which could result in suspension or revocation of your license to practice in your professional field;
- Disbarment or suspension, if you are a lawyer;
- Permanent loss of your state and federal right to bear a firearm; and
- Deportation from or inadmissibility into the United States if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Wallin & Klarich Can Help You Avoid the Serious Consequences of a Perjury Conviction
If you or someone you care about is facing perjury charges in California, you should contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have a proven track record of successfully defending our clients for over 40 years and avoiding a serious punishment for perjury.
Committing or suborning perjury is a serious offense carrying serious consequences including jail or prison time and heavy fines. Additionally, you risk losing your professional license, your right to bear a firearm and you could be deported out of the country if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Wallin & Klarich has offices conveniently located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make certain all of your rights are protected and that you receive unparalleled legal representation throughout every step of your criminal case.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.