Consequences Of Committing Perjury While Serving As An Alibi Witness

Law Blog

If someone you know is facing legal trouble, he or she might involve you to help with the alibi. Unfortunately, if the person wasn't actually with you at the time of the crime, you may feel compelled to lie as a way of "helping." This may be especially tempting if your friend has unequivocally told you that he or she is innocent of the charges. You may think that stretching the truth a little will be a good idea, but this is definitely a misconception. Lying in court represents perjury, which is problematic for a number of reasons.

Legal Trouble For You

The most significant problem with committing perjury as you try to help your friend with his or her alibi is that you'll end up in legal trouble. A charge of perjury is serious, and you could face a variety of legal consequences that include a short jail sentence, fines, and more.

This is important to realize should you be tempted to be dishonest. You might tell a white lie from time to time in your daily life without being aware of any consequences, but it's a different outcome when you're caught lying in court.

Harming Your Friend's Case

You might lie in an effort to help your friend's legal situation, but the reality could be that your dishonesty could jeopardize his or her case. When it becomes apparent to the court that one of the defendant's witnesses has been dishonest, the court may question whether this lie was a strategy of the defense. Your friend's attorneys may thus find themselves in an awkward position of trying to stress that your decision to be dishonest was entirely yours rather than something that they recommended.

Public Embarrassment

Although it might not be as serious as the legal trouble that you'll find yourself in, being caught perjuring yourself will also result in considerable embarrassment in a public setting. If the judge believes that you've been dishonest, he or she isn't going to discuss this matter privately with you.

Rather, after the prosecution has likely told the court that you're not being honest, the judge will reprimand you — and this disciplinary talk will feel embarrassing because the courtroom will be full of people. It may especially be embarrassing if the gallery contains a lot of people you know. Contact a criminal defense attorney if you've been charged with perjury and wish to fight this charge.


30 April 2019