What is the Law on Perjury of Oath in Oklahoma and what are the Punishments for it?A criminal act, perjury is said to have committed when an individual makes certain statements, which are not true or lies even when he/she is under oath. A good example of this crime is when an individual is told to give his/her testimony during a criminal or court proceeding. While the person is under oath, he/she does not speak the truth. As such, the person can be charged with the criminal offense of perjury in case it is found that they lied. After all, when a person commits perjury, they tried to corrupt the legal proceeding and to deviate the justice from taking its proper course. Hence, perjury is not regarded as a light criminal offense. However, a majority of people who make false statements even while under oath do not think it is serious.
So, even though the truth may hurt, not speaking the truth can prove to be more expensive when the person gets caught doing so under oath. Thus, perjury is not regarded as a civil matter but a criminal one. The state of Oklahoma also considers perjury to be a serious criminal offense. If a person is found guilty of having committed perjury in the state, they could face jail time, as well as, hefty fines. Hence, they should consult a trained criminal defense lawyer in Oklahoma to help to prepare their defense in the best possible manner.
Perjury in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, perjury takes place if a person does not make a correct statement under oath. A person may be under oath in different circumstances such as depositions, investigations, hearings, and trials.
Typically, when a person lies under oath any time even in an affidavit, he/she has exposed themselves to the possibility of being slapped with the charge of perjury in the state of Oklahoma.
Additionally, a person may also face perjury charge when he/she makes contradictory statements while under oath in different or in the same proceedings.
Last, but not least, a person may also face perjury charges when they try to induce another witness to make false statements under oath.
Possible defenses against perjury
In Oklahoma, the sole defense available for the defendant against perjury is that whatever statement he/she made was true. Alternatively, when it is about making contradictory statements, the accused thought that all those statements were true at that time.
Perjury punishments in Oklahoma
The state of Oklahoma considers perjury as a felony offense. The convict can be penalized by imprisonment based on the place of occurrence of that perjury:
1. When the perjury was committed during the felony indictment trial, the convict can be penalized with a prison term between 2 to 20 years;
2. A prison term between 1 to 10 years in other trial proceedings;
3. A maximum jail term of 5 years in all other cases
Also, the defendant may have to pay a maximum fine of 10,000 USD if found guilty of the commission of perjury.
Inducing someone else to commit perjury in the state is regarded as a felony crime. The crime is treated in the same way as if the person committed the perjury himself/herself in Oklahoma.
Evidence of Perjury
There is no specific evidence required to convict a person of perjury in the state of Oklahoma. The existence of proof of guilt beyond the reasonable doubt will suffice for convicting a person in the state. Plus, incompetency or lacks of immateriality are not considered to be defenses to perjury in Oklahoma. When a prosecution is ongoing for perjury due to contradictory statements, it is nonessential to establish which of those statements is false.