Defenses Against Perjury Probable Cause Hearings
When a witness lies under oath, it is considered as perjury. Perjury is a felony and the penalty for this crime is imprisonment.
However, perjury law maintains that if a witness tells the truth under oath, then no crime of perjury is committed. This principle was made into an example in the famous case of 1973, Bonston versus United States.
The US Supreme Court rules that even if the witness had answered questions in a misleading manner but he had told the literal truth, therefore, no perjury was committed. This type of answering in the perjury cases is now known as the literal truth defense and many defendants are informed by their attorneys to adopt this stance when they are being questioned.
When it comes to defense against perjury, a defendant has to know that claiming bad memory or amnesia of the incident is not going to let him off the hook. Instead, he should be prepared to spend time in prison if he takes this route.
If a person gives sworn testimony that contains untrue statements and it comes out during the trial that the testimony is false, there is nothing much that a defense lawyer can do to help his client. A good lawyer will always inform the client the risks of giving false testimony. And if a lawyer feels that his client is the type who tends to lie under pressure, then he will do his best to ensure that his client is not called upon to testify.
Basically when it comes to defenses against perjury, it varies from case to case. There is no set rule that all lawyers follow one thing or the other. Lawyers have to change their tactics based on how much lie or how many untrue statements the client had given or said.
More Articles :