False Statement Attorney in Miami, FL

Whether you or a loved one has been arrested or are under investigation for making a false statement, it is critical to consult with an experienced Miami false statement attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. An experienced federal criminal lawyer can help you navigate the process and help maximize your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.

What is a False Statement?

Under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, making false statements to a federal law enforcement agent is a federal offense. The statement doesn’t need to be under oath and can be either spoken or written. The severity of the crime will depend on the spoken or false written statement. Intentional misrepresentation of a fact or set of events are included within the parameters of being charged for giving a false statement.

False statement cases can also arise in situations where the statement is made:

  • to a federal agency, either in an application for a license, an employment application, or other governmental forms; 
  • to an organization, institution, or person implementing federal government programs; or, in records or documents of a business that operates under federal government regulation and inspection.

To convict a person of making a false statement, the government has to prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • that you made the statement;
  • that the statement was “materially false”;
  • that you made the statement “knowingly and willfully”; and
  • that the statement occurred “in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States.” 

The Materiality of the False Statement

Just because you lie to a federal agent doesn’t make it illegal. For it to be unlawful, the statement needs to be materially false. According to 18 U.S.C. § 1001, a statement is material if it has the “natural tendency to influence or is capable of influencing” the federal officer/agent to whom you make the statement. Put another way, the statement needs to be important and related to the topic at hand. Also, it doesn’t matter if the federal agent believes the statement to be false or even knows that it’s false.

Making the Statement Knowingly and Willfully 

“Knowingly” making a false statement means that you are aware of the situation and facts when you make the statement. In other words, you did not make the statement by mistake or by accident. “Willfully” means that you made the statement voluntarily, specifically intended to make it, and made it knowing that it was unlawful.

Federal Government Jurisdiction

In a false statement prosecution, the statement in question must reasonably relate to the Federal government. Without this, there isn’t the required federal jurisdiction. In describing the circumstances in which the alleged statements have to occur, judges have interpreted federal jurisdiction broadly, basically to include any area where the federal government has regulatory authority. Considering how many industries are subject to federal regulation, prosecutions can arise in countless situations.

Possible Punishment for Making a False Statement

Making a false statement carries a maximum penalty of five (5) years in prison. If the statement involves certain sex offenses, human trafficking, or terrorism, the maximum punishment increases to eight (8) years imprisonment.

A conviction can also result in a supervised release after a prison sentence and a fine of up to $250,000.

Defenses to Making a False Statement can include:

  • that the government failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • that the statement wasn’t “material”;
  • that there isn’t federal jurisdiction because the statement wasn’t reasonably related to the federal government;
  • that you didn’t “knowingly and willfully” make the statement;
  • that you weren’t the person who made the statement; and,
  • that federal agents/officers violated your constitutional rights by illegally interrogating you.

Contact an Experienced False Statement Attorney in Miami

By taking the immediate action of hiring an experienced false statement attorney in Miami, you are reducing the chances that your case will result in long-term consequences for your career, personal life, and reputation. CALL US NOW for a CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION at (305) 538-4545, or simply take a moment to fill out our securely encrypted intake form. The additional details you provide will greatly assist us in responding to your inquiry.

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