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Perjury Crimes in Florida

Florida law provides for several different perjury charges under F.S.S. Chapter 837. Contact a criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss criminal charges under Florida's various perjury statutes. Our offices are located in dowtown Tampa, FL.

Many law enforcement agencies, including the Tampa Police Department require that a citizen sign an acknowledgement that they have read the excerpts from Florida Statute Section 837 and understand that to make false statements in an official proceeding is a criminal act punishable as provided by Florida Statutes before they can file a citizen's complaint with the Internal Affairs Bureau. In fact, the Tampa Police Department uses a Form TPD 645-B, last revised in January of 2009 for that purpose.

We represent clients charged with serious felony offenses such as perjury throughout the Tampa Bay area including in Hillsborough County, Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County and Polk County, FL. Call today to speak with an attorney about the facts of your case at 813-250-0500.

Perjury in Official Proceedings - F.S. 837.02

Florida Statute Section 837.02 criminalizes making a false statement, which is not believed to be true by the person making the statement, under oath in an official proceeding in regard to any material matter. Under 837.02(1) the criminal offense of perjury is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. 

The criminal offense can be charged as a felony in the second degree under Florida Statute Section 837.02(2) when the false statement relates to the prosecution of a capital felony. This second degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison.

Under Florida's perjury statute the knowledge of the materiality of the statement is not an element of the crime of perjury and the defendant's mistaken belief that the statement was not material is not a defense.

Perjury by Contradictory Statements - F.S. 837.021

It is a felony in the third degree under Florida Statute Section 837.021(1) to make two or more material statements in official proceedings under oath which contradict each other. Perjury by contradictory statements under Florida Statute Section 837.021(2) is a second degree felony.

In these cases, it is not necessary for the prosecutor with the State Attorney's Office to provde which, if any, of the contradictory statements is not true. Additionally, the statute provides that it is not necessarily a defense that the accused believed each statement to be true at the time the statement was made. 

False Reports to Law Enforcement Authorities - F.S. 837.05

Florida Statute Section 837.05 provides that knowingly giving false information to any law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commision of a crime, is a misdemeanor in the first degree. A misdemeanor offense for making a false report to law enforcement is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $500 fine. The criminal offense is punishable as a third degree felony if the false information concerned the alleged commission of a capital felony.

False Complaints Against an Officer

Florida Statute Section 112.532(3) provides that "[e}very law enforcement officer or correctional officer shall have the right to bring civil suit against any person, group of persons, or organization or corporation, or the head of such organization or corporation, for damages, either pecuniary or otherwise, suffered during the performance of the officer's official duties, for the abridgment of the officer's civil rights arising out of the officer's performance of official duties, for the abridgment of the officer's civil rights araising out of hte officer's performance of official duties, or for filing a complaint against the officer which the person knew was false when it was filed."

Finding an Attorney for Perjury Charges in Florida

If you are charged with any perjury offense in the State of Florida under F.S.S. Chapter 837, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm.

Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Tampa, FL. We represent clients charged with serious misdemeanor and felony offenses including perjury or making a false statement throughout the Tampa Bay area, including Hillsborough County, FL, and the surrounding areas.