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Consequences of Lying in Court

I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

Today’s question comes from a caller who would like to know the legal consequence of lying to a court, in a deposition under oath, or in any setting under oath.

Lying isn’t just a bad thing to do; it can have disastrous consequences on your case.

When a plaintiff brings a case in court, you are declaring as the plaintiff that the facts you are asserting in court are true and that you have a valid claim.  If you’re lying about that claim, your case can be dismissed. A plaintiff who lies can have their case thrown out of court.

If a defendant is lying, they can also be penalized.  They may, by default, be declared the loser in the case, or they may have specific issues foreclosed in their lawsuit.

For example, suppose a defendant asserts a defense that they are not at fault. If the defendant is caught lying, the court, as a penalty, can bar the defendant from presenting evidence. Thus, the defendant will lose by default.

A lying witness, whether a plaintiff, defendant, or just a third party witness, can be penalized criminally.  The penalty might be a fine. Or, they can be jailed if they have lied to a court of law.

Perjury is making false, material statements of fact under oath.  Perjury constitutes a level six felony. A person convicted of perjury may be imprisoned for up to a year.  Penalties also can include a fine as high as $10,000. Some cases may justify a fine and imprisonment.

Thus, there are real consequences to lying for the plaintiff, the defendant, or witness engaged in lying.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”