Blog Post

The Impact of Perjury Charges on Criminal Defense Cases

The Impact of Perjury Charges on Criminal Defense Cases

September 14, 2023 / Criminal Defense

Lying under oath is a crime. If you’re currently facing criminal defense charges and you’ve also been charged with perjury, you can end up in even more trouble than you were originally dealing with. In addition to a criminal defense lawyer, you’ll also need a perjury charges impact lawyer in Florida.

It’s easiest to move forward with a comprehensive defense when your lawyer can handle both your criminal defense and your perjury charges defense strategy. When you take the time to understand the consequences of perjury and how perjury charges can impact the outcome of a criminal defense case, it’s easy to see that perjury charges should not be taken lightly. 

What Is Perjury?

Perjury is the act of lying while under oath. Perjury most often occurs in the courtroom, but you can also be found guilty of perjury for written statements. This most often happens in situations when false information is submitted to a government entity.

A statement made under oath must meet four criteria to be considered perjury in Florida. These conditions are: 

  • An authorized official administered the oath.
  • The defendant swore under oath to tell the truth.
  • The defendant made false statements while under oath.
  • The defendant knew their statements were false.

When a perjury defense attorney in Florida needs to craft a perjury charges defense strategy, it’s often easiest to question the final point by trying to show that the defendant misspoke or remembered events incorrectly. 

Sometimes, people choose to lie under oath, thinking that doing so will help them avoid a criminal conviction. However, it’s possible to be charged with perjury even when you had every intention of testifying truthfully. 

One common way to end up facing perjury charges in Florida is to give contradictory testimony under oath. Criminal defense court proceedings are stressful, and memories fade with time. When someone fails to accurately recall events while under oath, making a statement that contradicts earlier testimony can easily lead to perjury charges. 

What Are the Consequences of Perjury Charges?

Perjury is a felony crime in Florida. Conviction for perjury can be accompanied by a lengthy prison sentence and significant fines. A perjury conviction can also directly impact both your criminal record and the outcome of your criminal defense case. 

Under Florida state law, the type of felony you can be charged with depends on the circumstances under which you committed perjury. 

Second-Degree Felonies

If you were charged with perjury in a case involving a capital felony, a perjury charge is a second-degree felony. In Florida, capital felonies are those that can lead to a sentence of death or life in prison. These include: 

If you’re convicted of second-degree felony perjury charges, you face consequences that include: 

  • Felony conviction
  • Prison time ranging from 15 to 40 years
  • Fines of up to $10,000.

The exact sentencing time for a second-degree felony depends on whether you have previous criminal charges on record. At the most extreme, if you meet the legal definition of a “Violent Career Criminal,” you face sentencing of up to 40 years, with a minimum 30-year sentence. On the other end of the spectrum, if you don’t have relevant prior convictions on record, you can face a sentence of up to 15 years. 

Third-Degree Felonies

If perjury was not committed in conjunction with a capital felony, you’ll face third-degree felony charges. While these bring more lenient fines and sentencing times than a second-degree felony charge, the consequences are still serious. 

Conviction for a third-degree felony in Florida brings consequences that include: 

  • Prison time of up to five years
  • Fines of up to $5,000
  • Felony conviction on record.

As with second-degree felonies, sentencing time can go up significantly based on whether you have certain types of prior criminal convictions on record.  

How Can Perjury Charges Impact a Criminal Defense Case?

Whatever criminal charges you might already be facing, a perjury charge only makes your situation worse. With a conviction, you face felony charges and significant prison time. Failing to engage a skilled defense lawyer right away means you run the risk of winning your criminal defense case but going to prison anyway due to a perjury conviction. 

Being charged with perjury in the midst of an ongoing criminal case doesn’t help your chances. Perjury charges make it appear as though you’re willing to lie on the stand. The prosecution won’t hesitate to use this fact to discredit anything you say to the judge or jury. 

If you’ve been charged with perjury in the middle of a criminal defense case, don’t wait to call a perjury defense lawyer at a Florida law firm. Perjury cases bring serious consequences, but a skilled Florida perjury defense lawyer can help fight to have your charges overturned or the penalties reduced.

How Can a Perjury Defense Attorney in Florida Help?

If you find yourself sitting at home searching the internet for terms like “Florida perjury charges impact lawyer,” it’s time to schedule a consultation with a Florida perjury defense lawyer at a Florida law firm. Perjury cases don’t go away without a strong defense. If you’re facing both perjury charges and additional criminal charges, your future is on the line. 

It’s hard to give a general estimate of how your case might be affected by the perjury charge. Lawyers who deal with Florida perjury defense will need to understand the specifics of why you were charged with perjury. They’ll also need information about the criminal charges you’re facing and any convictions you have on record to identify what’s at stake and how to build a defense. 

Call a Florida Perjury Defense Lawyer Today

Panella Law Firm is a leader in Florida criminal defense. Attorney Michael Panella holds a long track record of successfully defending clients in a wide array of criminal cases, including cases involving perjury charges. 

If you’ve been charged with perjury in Florida, don’t make the mistake of hoping for the best. Call Panella Law Firm today at 407-233-1822 to schedule a consultation with a skilled Florida perjury defense attorney.

Attorney Mike Panella

For Mike Panella, the concept of zealous advocacy developed at an early age – fueled by what he perceived to be an unjust resolution in a personal family legal matter. Mr. Panella would later attribute his passion to defend the rights of those who stand accused to those inequities in the legal system he observed, and considered unjust. Before opening Panella Law Firm, Mr. Panella served as an Assistant Public Defender for Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office and worked hundreds of cases in both Brevard and Seminole Counties. Mr. Panella was undefeated at trial. [ Attorney Bio ]

Recent Posts


Court TV Law

NY Times

USA Today



Orlando Sentinel