Tuesday, July 22, 2014
DA: If You Lie In Court, You Will Be Prosecuted
Morganelli cited several recent referrals from the Court of instances in which people either lie or produce false documents.
In a recent drunk driving sentencing, David Boyd told Judge Jennifer Sletvold that he was in the U.S. Army, and had been deployed to several different areas of the world during his five years of service. Probation officers later determined that this information was false. Now Bod faces perjury and false swearing charges.
In a support case, Samuel J Wilson altered W-2s to make it look as though nearly $34,000 in income was just $5,000. After a referral from Judge Paula Roscioli, he's been charged with multiple counts of tampering with public records.
In another support case, James Dougherty provided Judge Sletvold with a doctor's note indicating he was unable to work, but susbsequent investigation revealed it was altered. He's been charged with forgery and false swearing.
"These matters are serious and there appears to be a trend," noted Morganelli. He cautioned everyone from attempting to deceive the Court. "Our judges are smart and recognize perjured testimony and fraudulent documents when they see it," he said.
He promised the following charges will be brought against those who lie in court.
Perjury - a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years and a fine up to $150,000.
False swearing - a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to two years and a fine up to $5,000.
Unsworn falsification to authorities - a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to two years and a fine up to $5,000.
Tampering with public records or information. - a misdemeanor or a felony.
Most people charged with a crime as a first offense are entitled to participate in a specail program called ARD, where the charges are wiped clean after a period of probation. But the DA said he'd be disinclined to agree to ARD. "That sends the wrong message," he noted. "This goes to the integrity of our judicial system."