Archive for August, 2013

Lying or Perjury Causes Injury and Harm

By Thomas R. Smith

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Most people are taught to always tell the truth at a very young age.  Nonetheless, all to often most of us will admit to a white lie somewhere along the line, and experience little or no consequences.

However, lying or providing knowingly false or misleading information can have serious ramifications under civil and criminal law.  Lying under oath, called perjury, is providing testimony, either written or oral, under oath, with knowledge that is false.  Not only will perjury lead to a criminal charge, carrying with it jail time up to 5 years in some instances, but also can defeat a claim for money damages in civil lawsuits such as personal injury claims.  The information must be material to the issue at hand, and not something inconsequential to constitute perjury.

Providing false or misleading information to a public official such as a police officer investigating a motor vehicle crash, can also lead to a criminal charge, depending on the extent of the information offered, can be an indictable offense with a potential sentence to include jail time, or a disorderly persons offense in which substantial fines will be assessed.  Further, it could disqualify one from future government employment or holding a public office.

Lying on applications for employment will almost certainly leave an applicant unemployed.  Providing false information on applications for life insurance may disqualify beneficiaries from every receiving payouts or benefits upon death.  Lying a warranty registration for a product can invalidate that protection.

Possessing or presenting a false or fake identification can be a serious criminal offense, with the potential for substantial jail time.  If an underage person used the fake card in an attempt to purchase alcohol or tobacco, a disorderly persons offense, there will be substantial fines and other penalties assessed such as loss of a driver’s license for at least six months.

If accused of providing false information in any situation it is best to call an experienced trial lawyer who can assess and advise of many defenses available.