Perjury Charges and Penalties

Perjury

Lansing Michigan Perjury Defense Attorney

Perjury is essentially intentionally lying under oath in a court proceeding. Michigan treats perjury very seriously in order to protect the integrity of the justice system and to protect innocent people from being convicted. Undoubtedly innocent people have been convicted and imprisoned based on lies and deceit so judges and prosecutors do not take these charges lightly. There are multiple perjury charges and other related charges that often go along with perjury charges. I will discuss the various perjury charges and penalties.

What is Perjury

Perjury is intentionally lying under oath in a court of law. The prosecutor has to prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Defendant was legally required to take an oath in a proceeding in a court of justice
  • Defendant took such an oath (solemn promise to tell the truth)
  • Defendant made a false statement while under oath
  • Defendant knew the statement was false.

Penalties for Perjury

If the perjury occurred in a capital offense (where the maximum sentence is life in prison) the defendant faces any number of years up to life in prison. If the perjury occurred in a non-capital offense, the defendant faces up to 15 years in prison.

Subornation of Perjury and Inciting or Procuring Perjury

Subornation of perjury is getting someone else to commit perjury or lie under oath. This is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Even if the defendant attempted to get someone to commit perjury and they didn’t, they are still guilty of a crime. That is known as Inciting or Procuring Perjury but Perjury Not Committed. That is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Tampering with Evidence or Offering False Evidence

This can occur in one of several ways:

  • Withholding or refusing to produce testimony, information, document, or thing after a court has ordered it be produced
  • Preventing or attempting to prevent another person from reporting a crime through unlawful use of physical force
  • Retaliating or attempting to retaliate to prevent another person from reporting a crime through unlawful use of physical force

Retaliation is committing a crime against a person or attempting to commit a crime against a person, threatening to kill or injury, or threatening to cause property damage.

Tampering with evidence is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison. If it occurs in a case where the maximum penalty is 10 years or more, then it is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Perjury and tampering with evidence can often lead to other serious charges being filed such as witness intimidation which can be either a misdemeanor or felony.

Is Lying to a Police Officer Perjury

No! It is not perjury because the statement is not made under oath. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be charged with other crimes. In some instances you can be charged with lying to a police officer depending on what you lied about or filing a false police report.

Defenses to Perjury

  • Reasonable doubt—the prosecutor has failed to prove their case on one or more of the elements
  • The statement was truthful or the defendant believed the statement was truthful
  • Uncredible witnesses—if the witnesses lack credibility, has a bias, or are impeached this can lead to reasonable doubt
  • Defendant was trying to compel the truth

If you are charged with perjury you are facing a felony conviction of dishonesty which can haunt you for the rest of your life as you apply for jobs, housing, scholarships, college admission, and professional licensing. That is why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you. Even if you have no defenses, a skilled criminal attorney may be able to keep the matter off your record with diversion, delayed sentence, or a deferral program such as the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA).

Lansing Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing perjury charges or tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, or subornation of perjury you need an experienced advocate on your side. Call Austin Legal Services, PLC today to speak to a Michigan perjury defense lawyer at (517) 614-1983!

Defending charges of perjury, subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice, and tampering with evidence throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Livingston, Jackson, Shiawassee, Clinton, Kent, Barry in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, St. Johns, Charlotte, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Hastings, Brighton, Howell

Falsely Reporting a Medical Emergency and Bomb Threat Charges

Bomb Threat

Lansing Michigan Bomb Threat Defense Attorney

Just like with filing a false police report, intentionally making a false report of a medical emergency knowing that it is false is a crime with severe consequences. A person is guilty of this offense by:

  1. Intentionally making or intentionally causing to be made a false report of a medical emergency
  2. That false report was made to a peace officer, police agency of state or local government, firefighter or fire department of state or local government, 911 operator, medical first responder, or any governmental employee or contractor or employee of a contractor who is authorized to receive such reports of medical or other emergencies.

Is Filing a False Medical Emergency a Misdemeanor or Felony?

Similar to filing a false police report, it depends on if anyone was injured, suffered a serious bodily impairment, or was killed. If none of those occurred, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. If someone suffers physical injury as the proximate cause of lawful conduct in response to that false report, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. If someone suffers a serious impairment of a bodily function as the proximate cause of lawful conduct in response to that false report, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine. If someone dies as a proximate cause of lawful conduct in response to that false report, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of at least $25,000 but no more than $50,000.

Making a Bomb Threat: Is it a Misdemeanor or Felony?

If someone falsely reports or threatens to falsely report an explosive or incendiary device (bomb threat) or that there are harmful substances in someone’s food (poisoning) that person is guilty of a felony. A first offense is punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine. Second and subsequent offenses are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

Reimbursing Police and Medical Response Costs

Anyone found guilty of filing a false report of a medical emergency or making a bomb threat may be ordered to reimburse the state or local government the costs of responding to the false report or threat. This includes but is not limited to use of police, fire, medical, and other emergency response vehicles and teams. If a juvenile is convicted of this offense under the family division of the circuit court, the parents may be ordered to pay any reimbursement costs that the juvenile is unable to pay. The juvenile’s obligation will be offset by any amount the parent pays on the juvenile’s behalf. If this imposes a hardship on the parent and/or juvenile, the court can be petitioned to modify or cancel any portion of the amount owed or order installments.

Lansing Michigan Bomb Threat Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with filing a false medical emergency or making a bomb threat, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer representing you. Call Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a bomb threat criminal defense attorney today!

Defending charges of filing a false medical emergency and bomb threats throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Kent, Jackson, Shiawassee, Washtenaw in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Howell, Brighton, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Corunna, Ann Arbor.

Filing a False Police Report

Filing a False Police Report

Lansing Michigan False Police Report Defense Attorney

It is a crime to intentionally report a crime knowing that it did not happen. The consequences you face depend on the severity of the false report. A person is guilty of filing a false police report if they:

  1. Intentionally make a false report or intentionally causes a false report of the commission of a crime to be made
  2. The false report is made to a peace officer, police agency of the state or local unit of government, 911 operator, or any other governmental employee or contractor or employee of a contractor who is authorized to receive reports of a crime
  3. The person making the report or causes the report to be made knows the report is false.

Is Filing a False Report a Misdemeanor or Felony?

It depends on what the false report is. If it is a false report of a misdemeanor, then it is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 93 days and/or a $500 fine. If it is a false report of a felony, then it is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.

Heightened Punishment for False Reports Causing Injury or Death

The consequences are more severe for filing false police reports that cause someone to be injured, suffer a serious impairment of a bodily function, or death. The injury or death must have occurred as a proximate result of lawful conduct in response to address the reported crime. If the false police report results in physical injury, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. If the false police report results in a serious impairment of a bodily function, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine. If the false police report results in death, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of at least $25,000 but no more than $50,000.

Defenses

It is not enough that someone reported a crime that turned out to be false. To be guilty of this offense, that person must have intentionally made or caused to be made such a report knowing that it was false. If the person had a good faith belief that a crime was occurring or had occurred and turned out to be wrong, that person is not guilty of this offense. If the charge involves filing a false police report involving an injury, serious bodily impairment, or death, it must have occurred as a proximate cause of the false police report.

Lansing Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with filing a false police report, you need an experienced and dedicate advocate to fight for you. Call Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a criminal defense attorney today!

Defending charges of filing a false police report throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Kent, Jackson, Shiawassee, Washtenaw in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Howell, Brighton, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Corunna, Ann Arbor.

Tether and Electronic Monitoring Devices

Tether

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

As a condition of bail, bond, sentencing, or probation, the judge may order you to wear an electronic monitoring device, or tether. An electronic monitoring device allows pretrial services, probation, or parole the chance to closely supervise you by keeping track of where you are at or in some cases, determine if you are consuming alcohol. There are several types of electronic monitoring devices that are commonly used. Tethers are bracelets that are attached to the ankle while breathalyzers can be portable or attached to your car.

Global Positioning System (GPS) Tether

This monitors the defendant’s movement by satellite and reports his movements and whereabouts to the supervising agency. Exclusion Zones or Hot Zones (places where the defendant is not supposed to be) are programmed into a computer program that runs in conjunction with the GPS tether and alerts the supervising agency if the defendant goes someplace that he is not supposed to go such as the home or workplace of an alleged victim. The GPS tether could also be programmed so that the defendant is only allowed to be in or traveling to and from certain places such as work, home, or court. It could also be programmed to alert the supervising agency if defendant leaves beyond a certain radius.

Transdermal Alcohol Tether

This type of tether monitors (usually SCRAM tethers) the defendant’s skin to determine if any alcohol has been ingested into the body. While it is designed to monitor any alcohol from alcoholic drinks or alcohol-based products (mouthwashes, cough syrups, etc.) that the defendant may be ingesting, they are not designed to detect only ethyl alcohol (the type contained in alcoholic beverages). They will detect only forms of alcohol that can come from anything ranging from certain foods, hand lotions, body washes, or cleaning products. It also alerts the agency if the defendant has tried circumventing the tether in any way or tampering with it.

Standard Tether

This device records and reports when a defendant enters and exits certain locations, such as his residence. This ankle bracelet needs a landline phone in order to properly work.

Breathalyzers

Breathalyzers are either portable devices or installed to a fixed setting like a car or home. The court may require a defendant to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) at regular times (everyday by a certain time, each time defendant enters or leaves the residence), or when certain events occur (e.g. driving a car). These units are often equipped with cameras to verify that it is actually the defendant providing the breath sample. Breathalzyers are often ordered by the court for substance-related offenses such as DUIs, driver’s license restorations, any offense involving alcohol, or if the defendant has a history of alcohol abuse.

Ignition Interlock Devices

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer that is specifically designed for installation in cars to prevent defendants from operating the car until they prove they have not been drinking. They require a significant breath sample that requires the defendant to blow and hum at the same time. A breath sample of approximately 1.5 ml of breath is normally required before the car will start. The ignition interlock device also requires you to submit to “rolling tests” meaning you have to give a breath sample at spontaneous times while the car is in motion to determine you haven’t been drinking since you started the car. The slightest thing can cause them to malfunction. These are frequently required for driver’s license restorations, High BAC (Superdrunk) charges, subsequent OWI offenses (OWI 2nd, OWI 3rd) and felony DUIs (OWI 3rd, OWI Causing Injury or Death).

Lansing Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Tethers, breathalzyers, and ignition interlock devices as a bond or probation condition can be costly in terms of money (rental and maintenance costs) as well as convenience. It also creates another possibility for a violation if anything goes wrong. A violation could get your bond or probation revoked and land you back in jail for a long time. If you have been charged with a tether or ignition interlock violation or if you are required to have a tether as a bond condition, you need to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to defend against the violation or convince the judge the requirement is too costly, burdensome, or unnecessary.

If you are facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges call Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 for a free, no obligation consultation!

Defending misdemeanor and felony criminal charges throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Livingston, Jackson, Clinton, Gratiot, Calhoun, Kent, Kalamazoo in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Brighton, Howell, Jackson, St. Johns, Ithaca, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Jackson, Charlotte, Corunna.