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Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  30 years legal experience
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can the State of California file perjury charges for an offense

Customer Question

can the State of California file perjury charges for an offense committed 20 years ago ( the state just discovered the offense)?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.

Good morning Parisa,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

While it takes son doing to determine the statute of limitations for perjury in the state of CA---because is it a fraud based crime---Under CA law, the statute of limitations does not begin to run on perjury until it is discovered, or 4 years after the offense, whichever is later.

So, based on the fact that the state has just now learned of the alleged crime, they have 4 more years to determine whether to file charges against you for the incident. The simply fact is that prosecutions for perjury are quite rare and perjury happens in courtrooms, and in written documents, everyday.

Here is the CA law as regards XXXXX XXXXX period on a charge of Perjury:

CA Penal Code Section 801.5. Notwithstanding Section 801 or any other provision of law, prosecution for any offense described in subdivision (c) of Section 803 shall be commenced within four years after discovery of thecommission of the offense, or within four years after the completionof the offense, whichever is later.

CA Penal Code Section 118. (a) Every person who, having taken an oath that he or she will

testify, declare, depose, or certify truly before any competent

tribunal, officer, or person, in any of the cases in which the oath

may by law of the State of California be administered, willfully and

contrary to the oath, states as true any material matter which he or

she knows to be false, and every person who testifies, declares,

deposes, or certifies under penalty of perjury in any of the cases in

which the testimony, declarations, depositions, or certification is

permitted by law of the State of California under penalty of perjury

and willfully states as true any material matter which he or she

knows to be false, is guilty of perjury.

CA Penal Code Section 803.

(c) A limitation of time prescribed in this chapter does notcommence to run until the discovery of an offense described in thissubdivision. This subdivision applies to an offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, a material element of which is fraud or breach of a fiduciary obligation, the commission of the crimes oftheft or embezzlement upon an elder or dependent adult, or the basisof which is misconduct in office by a public officer, employee, or appointee, including, but not limited to, the following offenses: (1) Grand theft of any type, forgery, falsification of public records, or acceptance of a bribe by a public official or a public employee,
(2) A violation of Section 72, 118, 118a, 132, 134, or 186.10.

I wish you the best in 2013.

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Thank you,


Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Good evening Parisa,

I wanted to thank you for using JustAnswer, and to inquire whether my answer to you was helpful to your understanding of the law, as regards your question.

Is there anything else that I can assist you with, please feel free to ask. If you do not require further legal information at this time, please feel free to bookmark my profile so you can request me when you do have another question. Here is a link to my profile:

Thank you very much and take care.