Penal Code 132 PC | Offering False Evidence


Penal Code 132 PC | Offering False Evidence

In California, Penal Code 132 PC makes it a felony offense to knowingly offer false documents or other written evidence in a legal proceeding, trial, inquiry or investigation. This law prohibits presenting forged, altered, or fraudulent written material as genuine in order to mislead judges, juries, investigators, or other officials.

Let’s take a closer look at the legal definition of this crime, penalties, best defenses, and related charges for offering false evidence under California law.

What Does California’s Law Against Offering False Evidence Prohibit?

The key elements of the crime of offering false evidence under Penal Code 132 PC include:

  • You offered or presented a written document, book, record or other instrument in writing as evidence
  • You offered this written evidence in a trial, legal proceeding, inquiry or investigation authorized by law
  • You knew the written evidence was forged, fraudulently altered, or otherwise falsified
  • You offered the false written evidence as genuine or true

“Offering” false evidence includes giving it to your attorney if you know they will try to introduce it as evidence. The law focuses on written material only, not verbal statements.

Penalties for Violating Penal Code 132 PC

Offering false evidence under this statute is a felony offense in California. Potential penalties include:

  • 16 months, 2 years or 3 years in California state prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Felony probation

Instead of prison time, a judge has discretion to order misdemeanor punishment of up to 1 year in county jail if mitigating factors apply to your case.

Legal Defenses to Offering False Evidence Charges

Fighting charges under PC 132 requires the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. They may argue:

  • You did not actually offer the alleged false evidence
  • You had no knowledge the written material was forged or altered
  • There was no legal proceeding taking place
  • You were entrapped into offering the evidence

A skilled lawyer can evaluate the details of your case and build the strongest defense against the false evidence charges.

Related Offenses to Offering False Evidence

While PC 132 deals with presenting forged written evidence, other California laws prohibit similar actions to obstruct justice or deceive officials:

  • PC 134 – Preparing false evidence
  • PC 118 – Perjury
  • PC 135 – Destroying or concealing evidence
  • PC 141 – Planting physical evidence

An attorney can help distinguish offering false written evidence under PC 132 from these related crimes.

Penalties for a Conviction Under Penal Code 132

Being convicted of offering false evidence can negatively impact your life for years. Consequences may include:

  • Prison time
  • Substantial fines and court fees
  • Difficulty finding employment with a felony record
  • Loss of professional licenses
  • Inability to own firearms

An aggressive defense lawyer can help you fight against these harsh penalties if facing charges under PC 132.

Finding an Attorney for False Evidence Charges

Allegations of offering forged or fraudulent evidence can completely derail your life if you are convicted. Retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney is critical.

A skilled lawyer will carefully examine if the prosecution can prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. They can identify any police misconduct or other weaknesses in the district attorney’s case.

In some instances, charges may be reduced or even dismissed entirely with an assertive legal defense. Don’t leave this to chance. An experienced attorney can make all the difference in how your false evidence case plays out.