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CA Perjury Law

California’s perjury law, officially known as 118 PC, deals with giving false information in a legal proceeding, which includes a driver’s license application, signed certificates, affadavits or declarations, depositions and court testimony.

Perjury is a serious offense in California, where it’s a felony. The penalties can range from probation to one year in county jail to as much as four years in state prison. If you find yourself or a loved one in this position, the help of a bail bondsman will be necessary.

Subornation of Perjury

Even if a person doesn’t actually commit perjury, they can be charged with the crime under 127 PC, which is subornation of perjury. This occurs when a defendant attempts to persuade or convince another individual to perjure themselves, and they do it. At that point, both people will be arrested for perjury.

However, any successful prosecution requires proof that four things took place: the defendant convinced someone else to falsely testify; that false information was given; that both defendants knew statements were false; and the information given played a prime role in the overall case.

Defenses against Perjury

Many perjury cases can be difficult to prosecute, since there are four different defenses that can be used when someone is charged.

*No official oath was given before the false information was provided.

*The incorrect information was not integral to the overall issue.

*A simple mistake on the part of the defendant was made, and that it wasn’t willful lying.

*There was a misunderstanding about the question asked, and that the inability of the defendant to properly grasp what the prosecutor was the cause of the wrong information.

The Question of Bail

If an arrest takes place, bail will likely be a consideration. Bail can often be posted within 20 minutes by a bail bondsman, but the process of release takes at least that long, and could go on for a few hours.

The bail bondsman can be a godsend, but they don’t work for free. A standard payment will be as much as 10 percent of the total bail—all non-refundable. To give an idea of the financial ramifications, if bail is set at $5,000, the bondsman will get $500.

In addition, collateral is necessary to make sure that a defendant returns for their trial. That collateral will be equal to whatever the amount that’s being provided.

That 10 percent fee can be lowered, depending on the situation. For example, if an attorney has already been hired, the likelihood that the defendant will stay around for their trial increases. Also, some unions or military member are eligible for a discount, along with government employees.

Most cases are completed within a year, so the standard contract lasts for that length. A renewal payment may be necessary if it goes longer.

The Bottom Line

Perjury is a charge that’s hard to prove, but telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the whole truth is much easier and can often be less stressful.

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