Available 24/7

Perjury Sentence New York 2024 – All You Need To Know

Perjury Sentence New York 2024 – All You Need To Know

Perjury is understood to be a serious offense because it has the potential to undermine the whole judicial process. The burden of proof for perjury, though, is significant. It is hard to prove intent, and a quality legal team often has a strong footing for mounting a defense. Perjury charges in New York can come with significant punishments. Anyone going under oath for any legal purpose is going to want to be sure that they understand the scope of perjury and its consequences.

Perjury Sentence New York

Perjury in New York

Perjury is something that occurs when a person under oath for some form of legal process intentionally makes a false statement that they do not believe is true. The severity of the perjury, which is determined by the surrounding factors and importance of the false statement, impacts whether it will be classified as third, second, or first degree perjury. In order from least to most severe, the degrees of perjury are:

  • Third Degree: This is when the false statement occurs while giving testimony or in a subscribed written statement.
  • Second Degree: This is when the false statement occurs in a subscribed written statement, is intended to mislead a public servant, and is material to the issue involved.
  • First Degree: This is when the false statement occurs in testimony and is material to the situation in which it is made.

Each of those charges comes with different sentencing guidelines. Third degree perjury is typically classified as a misdemeanor, while second and first degree perjury are felonies.

Perjury Defenses

When someone is charged with perjury, the prosecutor is required to prove that the false statement was intentional on the part of the defendant. A skilled lawyer will be able to examine the situation and determine a defense strategy that is most appropriate for the given circumstances. Key details that might be considered as a defense include:

  • The statement in question is truthful
  • The defendant believed at the time that the statement was truthful
  • The statement was given under duress
  • A ‘perjury trap’
  • Not being under oath at the time of the statement

Prohibited Perjury Defenses

New York law prohibits certain strategies on the part of the defense. It cannot be argued that the defendant lacks the comprehension or competence to make the false statement. Additionally, the claim that the defendant knowingly gave a false statement but did not believe it was important or material to the proceedings cannot be used as a defense. Lastly, the argument cannot be made that the oath being taken or administered was in an irregular manner. It also can’t be argued that there was something defective or flawed regarding the authority or jurisdiction of the officer who administered the oath if, under any statute or rule of law, the defect is excusable.


Q: How Long Do You Go to Jail for Perjury in NY?

A: The punishments for perjury vary depending on the degree of perjury charged and the severity of the offense in the estimation of the court. It is important to note that regardless of established sentencing guidelines, the judge may choose to lessen or increase the penalties based on the circumstances of the case. The possible consequences for each of the three degrees of perjury are as follows:

  • Third Degree:
    • Serve up to one year in prison
    • Probation
    • Conditional discharge (these conditions are imposed by the court and can often include things like -community service)
    • Unconditional discharge
    • Time served
  • Second Degree:
    • Jail time for an indeterminate period from 16 months up to four years
    • Jail time for a determinate period of one year or less
    • Jail time followed by probation (a split sentence)
    • Probation
    • Conditional discharge (with court-ordered conditions)
  • First Degree
    • Prison sentence for an indeterminate period from 28 months up to seven years
    • Jail time for a determinate period of up to one year
    • Probation term of up to 5 years

Q: What Are the Defenses Against Perjury Charges?

A: There are a few different possible defenses against perjury depending upon your particular situation. Some of these include:

  • The statement that you gave was not false
  • You didn’t know the statement was false when you made it
  • You gave a false statement under duress
  • You gave a false statement but were not under oath at the time
  • The prosecutor set a perjury trap

Q: What Is a Perjury “Trap?”

A: A perjury trap is when the prosecutor asks a line of questioning that is unrelated to the actual proceedings in order to get a witness to commit perjury. This often might mean asking embarrassing questions the witness might lie about first and then walking them into contradicting them. The key to using this as a defense against perjury is being able to show that the questions were not at all relevant to the case in question.

Q: What if Someone Makes Contradicting Statements Under Oath?

A: When someone makes two contradicting statements under oath, it’s understood that one of them must be false. In these cases, the prosecution is not required to proclaim which statement they believe to be false. If it is shown that the contradiction is intentional, the statements are considered as if they were perjury on their own. In this instance, the lesser of the two possible charges will be applied. If they constitute the same level of charges, that level will be applied.

Perjury Defense Requires a Skilled Legal Team

If you find yourself facing perjury charges or think you may be facing them soon, it’s important that you find a talented legal team. There are a number of possible defenses to a perjury charge, but they can be difficult for the average person to execute effectively. The burden of the prosecution is to demonstrate that the defendant was intentionally misleading while making a statement under oath. That leaves a lot of potential room for the defense to challenge the charges. However, you’ll want an experienced lawyer who can examine your situation and find the strongest defense. At the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, we have the skill and legal understanding that can be an asset to your defense. Contact us to take a look at your case today.

Leave a Reply

Contact Our Firm
Schedule an initial consultation to
discuss your case right away.
Schedule A Consult
Translate »