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What will happen if I lie in court?

If you've been accused of a crime in Colorado, one way to make your charges and criminal situation a great deal worse is to lie under oath. This is another type of crime known as perjury. If the court discovers that you committed perjury, it will result in elevated punishments when you're convicted and sentenced.

What are examples of perjury? This crime is usually committed while you're under oath -- which means you're making a sworn statement to the court that you officially stated was true. Another version of perjury is to make a signed, sworn statement through an official court affidavit. Here are a few more specific examples of perjury:

  • Imagine your friend committed a crime, and a judge asks you questions about your friend's location. You testify as your friend's alibi -- saying that your friend was with you at the time of the crime -- so the court believes that your friend couldn't have committed the offense. Later, mobile phone records and credit card receipts show that your friend, in fact, did commit the crime and wasn't with you.
  • Imagine you tell the court that you did not steal any money out of the cash drawer at work. When questioned about the cash that was found in your pockets, you claimed that your grandmother gave it to you. Later, your grandmother is unable to show that she gave you the money, and surveillance camera footage proves that you did take the cash.
  • Imagine you fail to report $15,000 worth of winnings that you acquired during a poker game to the IRS. You signed your tax forms saying that they were true. This could also be considered perjury.

A perjury conviction can result in both fines and prison times. As such, it's best to be truthful when a court asks you to give a sworn statement in court. However, if you do get accused of perjury in connection with your criminal court proceedings, you may be able to navigate the charge through the application of different criminal defense strategies.

Source: FindLaw, "Perjury," accessed Dec. 08, 2017

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