It’s not uncommon for witnesses to be called to the stand to testify. The witnesses must pass all criteria set forth by certain rules and guidelines though. These rules and guidelines also define what will happen if a witness refuses to testify or commits perjury.
What Are Your Options When Someone Commits Perjury?
It’s not easy to take the stand and testify against someone, especially if you either know that person or have a disagreement with him or her. It may motivate some witnesses to outright lie while under oath and on the stand.
Lying as a witness on the stand while being under oath is called perjury and it’s a criminal act. They’re essentially miscarrying justice and corrupting the legal process by doing so. Since the law doesn’t take perjury lightly, these people may be jailed, face probation, or be fined for perjury. People who have been convinced of perjury can also have a hard time finding work or getting security clearances since they’ve been dishonest.
Sue for Damages Resulting from Perjury
You may have been the victim of perjury. You may have even suffered bad damages because of perjury. You may think that you can sue for damages in that instance, but the reality is that you’ll often have little to no legal recourse. Sure, the person who perjured will go to jail. However, that really doesn’t help you out since you won’t receive a penny. Perjury, as it turns out, is a criminal and not a civil matter.
You can defend yourself though. The key to doing so is to be extra vigilant during the discovery period. This is the period where you get to know the defendant and witnesses better and vice versa. Be sure to analyze everything that they say so that you can get a feel for them, their nature, and their character, among other things!
If you use depositions and interrogatories, you can get the person’s true and sworn opinions on facts about the case. Make sure to impeach the person should he or she start to deviate during the trial. You can also ask the court for a mistrial and file for the witness to be put in contempt of court based on the evidence you have in the depositions and interrogatories. Personal Injury Lawyers in Hayward can also file perjury charges against the witness.
You can also file for an appeal if the court doesn’t honor any of your requests.You generally can’t sue since the courts don’t want to be clogged up with lawsuits resulting from perjury. There is a way around that and it’s to use RICO laws. RICO is an acronym for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations. The American government initially devised these laws to bring the mob down. However, you can use the civil remedies of the law to get someone for perjury.