Tennessee Perjury Defense Lawyer

Perjury and Aggravated Perjury

Perjury typically occurs when a person makes a false statement under oath with the intent to deceive. Perjury is a Class A misdemeanor except under certain circumstances. Aggravated perjury, on the other hand, occurs when a person makes a false statement during or in connection with an official proceeding, and the false statement is "material." This crime is classified as a Class D felony.

If you have been charged with either of these crimes, the attorneys at the law offices of Baker Associates, can defend your rights under the law. With years of criminal defense experience, we can help you understand the complex legal issues and defenses that arise when charged with these crimes. In fact, our dynamic criminal defense lawyers have successfully handled perjury cases and will do everything in their power to defend your rights and work toward the best possible outcome.


Under T.C.A. 39-16-702, a person is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if he or she commits one of the three following acts with intent to deceive:

  • Makes a false statement under oath,
  • Makes a statement under oath that confirms the truth of a false statement previously made, or
  • Makes a false statement on an official document required or authorized by law to be made under oath and states on its face that a false statement is subject to the penalties of perjury.

A false statement is any representation of fact. Consequently, courts have rejected the State's attempt to prosecute defendants for the expression of opinions, failure to be forthcoming, or for the assertion of "half-truths". However, Tennessee law expressly provides that the state does not have to prove the falsity of a statement when the accused makes two or more statements that, taken together, cannot be true.

Perjury Committed on an Application for a Handgun Permit

A person who commits any of the acts described above on a handgun permit may be guilty of perjury if on the application there is stated in bold type, directly above the signature line, that any false statement on the application is guilty of perjury. Violation of this law is a Class E felony and carries a conviction of one to six years and/or up to a $3000 fine.

Perjury Committed on a Sexual Offender or Violent Sexual Offender TBI Registration Form

A person who commits perjury on a sexual offender or violent sexual offender TBI registration form in Tennessee may also be guilty of a Class E felony if on the application there is stated in bold type, directly above the signature line, that any false statement on the application is guilty of perjury. Violation of this law is a Class E felony.

Aggravated Perjury

If charged with aggravated perjury, the state is accusing you of committing perjury during or in connection with an official proceeding, and that the false statement made is "material." Material here means the statement could have affected the course or outcome of the official proceeding. An "official proceeding" means any type of administrative, executive, legislative or judicial proceeding that may be conducted before a public servant authorized by law to take statements under oath. Thus, a pretrial deposition is an official proceeding because it is a judicial proceeding conducted before a public servant and under oath.

If convicted of the crime of aggravated perjury, you could be facing between two to twelve years in jail and a $5,000 fine. However, it is a defense to aggravated perjury if the accused retracts the false statement before completion of the testimony at the official proceeding during which the aggravated perjury was committed. Thus, a defendant cannot attempt to retract false statements made during a deposition while sitting on the witness stand at trial.

Protecting the Rights of Our Clients

There are complex and difficult evidentiary and legal issues involved in trying and defending perjury and aggravated perjury crimes. Consequently, you will want an attorney who has successfully defended these types of cases. By engaging in fierce representation and investigation into the legal issues of your case, our lawyers will mount a strong defense against these charges. Do not put your case and quality of life at risk by making the wrong legal choices. Discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at our offices.

If you have been charged with perjury or aggravated perjury, contact a lawyer at our office by completing the form below.

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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Knoxville Perjury Lawyer Disclaimer: The aggravated perjury, false statements, criminal defense or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact an attorney at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.

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