Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

What is the penality for committing purjury in a civil case?

Asked on 10/13/09, 9:53 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

George Shers Law Offices of Georges H. Shers

The D.A. would have to bring charges against you and would make the declision as to what degree of crime would be charged. If you are a party to the civil action, the trial judge can hold you in contempt of court and fine you whatever he/she thinks is reasonable under the circumstances.

The practical effect is that the jury may then disbelieve all of the testimony they heard from you or others in favor of the party you lied for and they will lose their case. The judge will instruct the jury that if they believe a witness lied as to part of their testimony, they can find the rest of the testimony also false.

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Answered on 10/13/09, 11:28 pm
Joe Marman Law Office of Joseph Marman

Penal Code Section 126 says the punishment is 2,3, or 4 years imprisonment in the state prison.

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Answered on 10/14/09, 11:40 am
Brian Dinday Law Offices of Brian R. Dinday

Essentially no penalty at all. Yes, there are criminal laws against perjury which technically apply to civil cases. I have done civil litigation for over 32 years and have never heard of any liar being prosecuted. Why? The prosecutors would be doing nothing else if they had to prosecute all the liars in civil cases. Stands to reason: two sides; only one can be right; money at issue; people lie. District Attorneys cannot and will not get involved in that p___ing match. You no doubt heard this threat from an opponent in a civil case. It's an empty threat, but if you turn out to be the first civil litigant ever prosecuted for lying in a civil case, please let us know. It will be historic.

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Answered on 10/14/09, 3:16 pm

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