When it comes to the legal system, few crimes carry as much weight and consequence as perjury and obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice presents itself when an individual acts in a way to intentionally impede or interfere with a government investigation or prosecution. These offenses not only undermine the integrity of the justice system but also jeopardize the rights and freedoms of individuals involved. In such cases, the guidance and expertise of a federal criminal defense attorney are indispensable.
Federal charges within this realm are designed to preserve the integrity of the criminal justice process. This statute applies to all phases, from an investigation, to a prosecution and trial, to a sentencing.
Commonly, this charge is seen where a person willfully and knowingly interferes with a government investigation or court proceeding. Witnesses tampering, destroying evidence, and bribing a juror can all lead to obstruction charges.
There are a number offenses that a can be committed and obstruction of justice can take almost any form, including:
Codified by 18 U.S.C. § 1503, 1510, 1506, and 1509, federal obstruction charges call for serious penalties, and may allow for decades imprisonment depending on certain applicable enhancements such as the murder of a witness or juror. Bribery and other forms of impediment similarly carry prison eligible sentences.
Simply stated, perjury is the crime of lying under oath. This can be a lie during a grand jury proceeding, trial, or at some other phase of litigation requiring courtroom testimony. Perjury charges are almost always insinuated by federal prosecutors when dealing with witnesses who have the potential to lie under oath in an effort to elude criminal liability or lessen their role.
In the alternative, federal agents and prosecutors frequently advise individuals that it is a crime to make a false statement to a federal official. This statute, codified by 18 U.S.C. § 1621, punishes any individual who intentionally makes a false statement to a federal prosecutor or agent. Often, these situations may arise during “proffer” sessions or during interrogations immediately following an arrest by the FBI.
Perjury and obstruction of justice charges are serious offenses that can have life-altering consequences. When facing these charges, the expertise and guidance of a federal criminal defense attorney are vital for a strong defense. From providing legal advice to courtroom representation, these attorneys work tirelessly to protect their clients' rights and mount a robust defense strategy. If you or someone you know is facing charges of perjury or obstruction of justice, it is crucial to consult with a skilled federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure the best possible outcome for the case.
The sooner you put your case in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the more opportunity you will have to work toward a favorable outcome.