Under Penal Code section 118, it is illegal to make a false statement while under oath or while affirming the truth of a statement. This includes making a false statement in a court of law, during a deposition, or on a legal document.

In order to be convicted of perjury, the prosecution must prove that you made a false statement while under oath, that you knew the statement was false, and that you intended to deceive. This means that if you made a genuine mistake or had a good faith belief that the statement was true, you may have a defense to the charge.

There are several potential defenses to a charge of perjury. One defense is that you did not make a false statement. If you can prove that the statement you made was true, you cannot be convicted of perjury.

Another defense is that you did not know the statement was false. For example, if you were relying on information from someone else and you had no reason to believe it was false, you might be able to argue that you did not know the statement was false.

A third defense is that you did not intend to deceive. If you made a statement that you believed was true, even if it turned out to be false, you might be able to argue that you did not intend to deceive anyone.

If you are convicted of perjury, the potential penalties depend on the circumstances of your case and your criminal history. In general, perjury is a “wobbler” offense, which means that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.

If charged as a misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in county jail. If charged as a felony, you could face 16 months, two years, or three years in state prison. In addition, you could be fined up to $10,000.

It is important to note that perjury is a serious crime that can have far-reaching consequences. In addition to criminal penalties, a conviction for perjury can damage your reputation and career, and may make it difficult for you to find employment or housing in the future.

If you have been charged with perjury, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and advise you of your rights and options. An attorney can also help you build a strong defense and negotiate a favorable plea bargain, if appropriate. In some cases, it may be possible to have the charges against you dismissed or reduced, or to obtain a not guilty verdict at trial.