When you are asked to testify or are the subject of a deposition, you are expected to speak truthfully. In fact, falsifying statements can actually lead you to having to face more criminal charges. One famous face that you might think of when you hear of falsifying statements is Martha Stewart. Falsifying statements was a component of the case that led to her being sentenced to five months in federal prison.

When you make any statements to authorities involved in the criminal justice system, those statements must be factual. Interestingly, it is possible to face charges for only falsifying statements, even if you aren’t charged with the crime for which you were being investigated.

There are federal and state laws against lying to law enforcement officers and officers of the court. These laws are meant to ensure that people who are facing criminal charges aren’t being tried using false information.

Interestingly, you also have the right to not incriminate yourself. This makes things rather difficult in some cases. You might want to make a statement, but the factual statement will incriminate you. You don’t want to seem guilty so you make something up. And, there you have given the law enforcement official something that can lead to criminal charges.

No matter what type of criminal charges you are facing, you need to know your rights. You also need to know how to answer questions. This is where invoking your right to an attorney might come in handy. In all cases, you should fully explore your options to determine what you feel comfortable pursuing.

Source: FindLaw, “False Statements,” accessed March 17, 2017