Our legal system depends on truth. Its very foundations are undermined with witnesses lie. Therefore, every state, including Oklahoma, have laws that make lying under oath (perjury) a crime.
It is also a crime in Tulsa, Oklahoma to induce a witness to lie. That is called subornation of perjury.
What is Subornation of Perjury in Tulsa?
Oklahoma law defines subornation of perjury as giving, offering, or promising to give a witness who is going to testify in a legal matter any bribe to influence that witness’ testimony or to fraudulently attempt to induce a witness to give false testimony. The crime is a felony. It is also sometimes called bribing a witness. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 456
In all crimes, the prosecution must prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. If any element is unproven, there can be no conviction.
Here are the elements of subornation of perjury:
- offering, giving, or promising
- money, goods, or any other valuable thing
- to a witness or potential witness
- known by the defendant to be a witness or potential witness, and
- with the intent to influence his or her testimony.
In Oklahoma, if you suborn or attempt to suborn the perjury of another, you will be punished as if you had committed the perjury. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 505
Penalties for Perjury
Perjury penalties are harsh.
Perjury, when committed in a felony trial, is punishable by a prison term of from 2 to 20 years.
Perjury committed in conjunction with any other type of trial proceeding is punishable by a prison term of up to 10 years.
In all other cases, the penalty is up to five years in prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 500
There are defenses that may be available to you. The gift, offering, or promise must be made with the intent to influence witness testimony.
Intent can be difficult to prove. Any facts in your case that show a different intent may provide a viable defense. Likewise, lack of knowledge that the person is or will be a witness may provide a viable defense.
A conviction for subornation of perjury can mean years of prison time. This is not a crime to try to handle on your own. Hire an experienced Tulsa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help protect your freedom.
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