California Penal Code 118 PC

PC 118 – Perjury

Perjury California

Perjury – Table of Contents

What is Perjury – Penal Code 118?

Perjury Penal Code 118 PC is intentionally providing false information under oath, or “under penalty of perjury”. The perjury Penal Code 118 PC can be spoken or written, and the lie must have a “material” effect on the legal outcome.

For instance, a person can lie about their age if the lie does not influence the case in any way. An example where it becomes perjury Penal Code 118 PC, is lying on the application for senior retirement benefits in a fraud case, because that would be a material fact central to the crime of fraud.

This criminal offense applies to:

  1. Testimony in court
  2. Official statements made in sworn affidavits or declarations
  3. Testimony in civil depositions
  4. Facts submitted in government documents (Driver’s License)
  5. Information in official certificates

Penalties PC 118

Perjury Penal Code 118 PC is considered a serious offense, as it can be used to usurp the power of the courts, resulting in miscarriages of justice. The judge has discretion to offer felony probation with up to one year of county jail, or no jail or prison at all in perjury Penal Code 118 PC convictions. It all depends on the seriousness of the case.

Perjury is a felony offense punishable by:

  • Up to four years in prison
  • Court fines

Aggravated (your lie led to the conviction and execution of someone) is a serious felony offense punishable by:

  • Life imprisonment, or
  • Death Penalty

A perjury Penal Code 118 PC conviction is considered a crime of moral turpitude and could have a negative impact on immigration and professional licenses.

Prosecuting PC 118

This crime can be a difficult charge for the prosecutor to prove. Innocent people do get wrongly accused.

To be convicted of Perjury Penal Code 118 PC, the following elements must be established:

  • The defendant was under oath, or made a statement “under penalty of perjury”
  • The defendant intentionally stated the information was true
  • The defendant knew the information provided was false
  • The information provided is considered “material” to the case
  • The defendant knew they were under oath when they made the statement, and
  • The defendant intended to testify falsely while under oath.

Information is “material” if it is likely that the information would influence the outcome of the proceedings. It is not always required that the information actually have an influence on the proceedings.

Defending Penal Code 118

Every case is unique, but here are some common defenses to a Penal Code 118 case:

  1. Your false statement was a matter of mistake, rather than intentional
  2. You misunderstood the question which led to the false statement
  3. You were not actually under oath
  4. Your false statement was not significant to the case

Federal and California law treats perjury Penal Code 118 PC seriously, but when you get into the details of PC 118 cases, they are rarely straightforward. Please consult a qualified criminal defense attorney about your case.

RELATED ARTICLE: Talking to the District Attorney as a Witness

We Want to Help

If you or a loved one is facing Perjury Penal Code 118 PC charges then it’s imperative to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney immediately. Seppi Esfandi is a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney and has experience defending California in a variety of crimes.

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June 4, 2018
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How to Win Your Case

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