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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27455
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Good Morning I wanted to know could I be arrested for giving

Customer Question

Good Morning I wanted to know could I be arrested for giving a false statement to the police? I told them what they wanted to here out of fear and It's because of my statement that my husband is in prison. Will I be arrested for telling the truth on the stand?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.

You have probably been working with the prosecutor on the case. If you haven't yet told him or her that the police pressured you into giving them the information that they wanted to hear and that you want the charges dropped, you need to let him know what really happened and how you feel you can't testify to what isn't true..

While a prosecutor can charge a complainant for perjury, generally they do not do it because they don't want to get a reputation as an agency that turns against its own witnesses. That kind of a reputation would prevent victims of a crime from coming forward and asking for help.

I cannot promise you that you won't get charged, but it would be unusual. What I can promise you is that you'd have a better chance of getting charged with a crime if the testimony you plan on saying came out for the very first time while you were on the stand in front of a jury in your husband's trial as the state's witness.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do i let his lawyer know or the states attorney know what i told the states attorney was false?

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.

You can do both. If you feel more comfortable going to his lawyer first, do that. But the State's Attorney will have to be spoken to. It won't matter if you do it or if your husband's lawyer breaks the news, but I can tell you that no lawyer wants a surprise on the stand where a witness completely changes the testimony.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Should I get a lawyer?

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.

If you are looking to get charges dropped, then you can ask your husband's lawyer to help you make that happen, and he or she will do that, because you and the lawyer will both want the same thing for your husband.

If, however, the States Attoney will not budge and intends to subpoena you and put you on the stand against your wishes, having your own lawyer couldn't hurt you.

There is, incidentally, a big difference between saying, "I lied to the police" and to saying you were very emotionally upset, the police were pressuring you and they pushed you into saying what they wanted to hear.