Perjury offenses are charged after an individual takes an oath to tell the truth in an official proceeding, but is found to have lied. Official proceedings include trials, hearings and congressional inquiries. Both federal and Florida laws include heavy fines and severe criminal penalties, including potential mandatory/minimum sentences of up to 25 years and maximum potential sentences of up to life. Mr. Petruzzi has represented numerous individuals charged with, or under investigation for, perjury offenses by both federal and state authorities. His experience and knowledge serve as an invaluable asset to his clients.
Federal perjury offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various agencies, including the FBI, DEA, ATF, ICE, IRS, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. Some common federal statutes criminalizing perjury include:
18 USC Sec. 1621 –
(1) Having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true; or
(2) In any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code, willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true; is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. This section is applicable whether the statement or subscription is made within or without the United States.
Florida perjury offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various state and local law enforcement agencies. Some common Florida statutes criminalizing perjury include:
837.02 Perjury in official proceedings. –
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), whoever makes a false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath in an official proceeding in regard to any material matter, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(2) Whoever makes a false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath in an official proceeding that relates to the prosecution of a capital felony, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) Knowledge of the materiality of the statement is not an element of the crime of perjury under subsection (1) or subsection (2), and the defendant’s mistaken belief that the statement was not material is not a defense.
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