Perjury law in Texas
Posted By Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass || 12-Jun-2015
Most people in Dallas may believe white collar crimes are only limited to the financial or business worlds. There is another criminal violation, however, that falls into the family of white collar crimes. That crime is perjury, and according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 382 people were investigated and prosecuted for this offense, as well as intimidation and contempt, in the 2009 fiscal year alone.
Many may think that perjury is limited to lying in court. Yet according to Texas law, one commits perjury anytime he or she, under oath, makes a statement intended to deceive. The law defines "statement" to be any representation of fact. That extends to not only sworn testimony in court, but also in written or recorded testimony or depositions.
The state has two levels of perjury: regular and aggravated. The difference between the two is that if the alleged perjury is either material or offered as part of an ongoing proceeding, it's considered to be aggravated. Material statements are those that could potentially influence the outcome of a case or ruling. The penalty for standard perjury is a Class A misdemeanor, while those convicted of aggravated perjury could face third degree felony charges.
What happens in those cases where a person discovers that he or she mistakenly misrepresented or misremembered facts, and tries to recant with the court? State law lists a retraction such as this as an acceptable defense to prosecution in certain situations. Examples of these may be where one reveals the error to prosecutors prior to them discovering it on their own or before the current proceedings end. Those in this scenario may wish to consult with an attorney to ensure that their statements are made properly and their rights are respected.
Categories: White Collar Crimes