Conspiracy to commit perjury is an offence that can come with a stiff punishment. This article provides detailed guidance on the typical sentencing for this offence.

What is the sentence for Conspiracy to commit perjury in 2020?

The act of conspiracy to commit perjury falls under the Perjury Act 1911.  The offence is defined as planning with one or more others to swear a false oath or to swear to tell the truth when aware that it’s not the truth. It is also conspiring to pervert the course of justice and can include falsifying an affirmation, to tell the truth in an official proceeding such as in Court.

The role of the prosecution is to prove that the offence happened. The prosecution must show those accused were acting together with an expressed implied or assumed agreement to plan the crime. The prosecution team must also demonstrate with either direct or circumstantial evidence, the intention to lie or tell untruths to change the course of justice.

There is typically a harsh punishment for those who are found to be guilty and convicted of conspiracy to commit perjury. The penalty may be anything from community service to an extended time in prison. There may also be a fine to pay.

We aim to provide you with as much information as possible on this page to help you understand the ramifications of being convicted of conspiracy to commit perjury offence. Here are the questions that our clients will typically ask, along with answers. If you need further information, call us on 0208 888 5225.

It’s important to note that with the help of competent and experienced solicitors, it may be possible to get your case quashed, or a punishment lessened.

Have you been charged or arrested for conspiracy to commit perjury? 

The first you’ll hear about being suspected of being involved in a conspiracy to commit perjury case is when the police inform you. Right from the beginning, you’ll need professional legal support to et you through the investigation. You’ll have an initial police interview which may lead to a court appearance and end of the trial where you’ll be given the verdict and sentencing.

What type of actions are involved in a conspiracy to commit perjury?

A conspiracy to commit perjury crime is considered to be a severe crime in the UK. The reason behind this classification is that it’s a waste of police time that could be used for more critical and threatening matters.

The sentence for this offence can be harsh and may involve a prison sentence, a fine or both.

The offence of conspiracy to commit perjury is more about agreeing to commit perjury than the act of actually doing it. Even if the event doesn’t come to fruition, the mere fact of planning to change the course of justice by lying in Court could lead to a court trial and sentencing if found guilty and therefore convicted.

As with any case, the role of the prosecution will be to prove that the accused are guilty. There will need to proof shown in the form of evidence that without doubt, the people agreed to act together. This agreement may be expressed, implied or assumed, but the intention was to commit perjury and avert or change the course of justice.

What is the average sentence for conspiracy to commit perjury?  

Conspiracy to commit perjury is punished harshly in UK law. If found guilty and convicted, you may be handed a maximum of seven years imprisonment, depending on what the circumstances are.

What are some of the mitigating factors that might reduce the conspiracy to commit perjury sentence?

Certain aspects of a case are known as the mitigating aspects which can influence the sentence that a judge gives. One of the factors judges consider in every case of this nature is the defendant’s level of genuine remorse.

The following are some of the other factors considered when the Court decides which sentence to give. They will look at:

  • Any previous conviction
  • Your level of remorse
  • Your level of cooperation with the investigation
  • Whether the activity you took part in was originally legitimate
  • Your reputation / good character
  • Whether you have any serious medical conditions that require long term, urgent or intensive treatment
  • Whether you have a learning disability or a mental disorder
  • Whether you are the sole or primary carer for related dependents

Is it possible to reduce a sentence for conspiracy to commit perjury with a guilty plea?

In recent years, several changes have been made to the sentencing system in the UK to save the court time and cost and to protect witnesses from the stress of needlessly going through a trial. For offenders aged 18 and over, pleading guilty early on in a case can reduce a sentence by as much as one third (maximum). The later the plea is entered, the smaller the reduction.

‘Early on’ refers to ‘the first stage of the proceedings’ and means anytime up to and including the first hearing at the Magistrates Court or Crown Court for indictable offences.

If a plea is entered 14 days after the first hearing, for example, the maximum level of reduction is just 20% or one-fifth of the sentence. For indictable offences, the limit for a guilty plea to be made is within 28 days after the prosecutor has stated compliance with section 3 of CPIA 1996 and serving disclosure. However, the decision is ultimately in the hands of the Judge, who has the discretion to apply whatever credit is deemed appropriate.

After these times, there is a sliding scale of credit applied. This goes down to one-tenth on the first day of the trial and to zero if entered during the trial. In theory, the ten per cent could be given if the plea is issued after the opening speeches on the first day, but before any witness evidence being heard.

If the accused does not want to plead guilty, then it’s essential for the solicitor to regularly inform the Court throughout the trial of the reasons why the client’s plea is not guilty.

What are some of the other consequences of the conspiracy to commit perjury offence?

Ancillary Orders

A court can also make ancillary orders on a defendant if they are found guilty and convicted of a conspiracy to commit perjury offence. These are extra elements of punishment that can be added to a sentence and include additional restrictions or requirements that can affect a dependent’s finances, your property or business or financial activity.

Ancillary orders that are typically added to the penalty for those who are found to be guilty of conspiracy to commit perjury include:

  • Compensation for loss
  • Restraint orders
  • Reparation orders
  • Being on licence
  • Confiscation orders

As part of your investigation, you may also have your assets frozen with the possibility of having cash or other assets seized.

Also, the Court may demand payment of the following if the accused is convicted:

Payment of costs applied for by the prosecutors

Although the police meet some of the costs involved in the prosecution, the costs of investigation are typically sought from the convicted. These may include the costs of:

  • The work done in obtaining enough evidence for prosecution either at the initial stage or later at the request of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
  • Seeking medical or expert evidence as part of the investigation, (where a witness is required to attend Court, the cost of the attendance falls on the CPS).
  • Re-interviewing witnesses
  • The entire costs of the prosecutor, including fees for the use of external Barristers used by the CPS, can be recovered from the defendant, subject to means. At the end of the case, the prosecutor under The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 will request the Judge to order a sum to be paid for the costs incurred by the prosecutor in bringing the prosecution.

Victims surcharges

The term victims’ surcharges can be explained as paying compensation to a fund for victims and can range between £20 to £170 depending on what sentence you were given at conviction.

How sentences can be added to national information databases

Several national databases hold information about individuals and any allegations made about them, their criminal and court records. These include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) which was previously known as the CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) and the Police National Computer (PNC).  Depending on what happened, whether the accused is convicted and what sentence was issued, the accused may be added to one or all these databases. Their purpose is to provide information to potential employers and to regulate the ability to take part in certain activities.

If your case progresses to Court and you are convicted of conspiracy to commit perjury, your conviction will be noted on your CRB / police record. The period of the endorsement will depend on the nature and length of your sentence.

Below are details on how long you will be listed as holding a criminal record if convicted. This is something very serious to consider when it comes to future employment. The term ‘spent’ refers to when your name can be removed from the databases.

Rehabilitation Period
(the time it takes for the sentence to become ‘spent’)
Sentence Adult (aged 18+) at time of conviction Young person (aged under 18) at time of conviction
Prison sentences of more than 4 years Sentence is never spent Sentence is never spent
Prison sentences of more than 2.5 years (30 months) but less than 4 years Sentence length 7 years Sentence length 3.5 years
Prison sentences of more than 6 months but less than 2.5 years (30 months) Sentence length +4 years Sentence length +2 years
Prison sentences of less than 6 months Sentence length + 2 years Sentence length +18 months
Conditional Discharge Length of order Length of order
Absolute Discharge None None
Conditional Caution 3 months 3 months
Simple Caution / Youth Caution None – immediately ‘spent’ None – immediately ‘spent’
Other Including Compensation Order, Supervision Order, Bind Over, Hospital Order Length of the order / once compensation is paid Length of the order / once compensation is paid

How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?

Held in high regard by both our clients and our opposition, here at Stuart Miller Solicitors, we’ve been defending cases in all fields of law for more than thirty years.

Our legal team of criminal solicitors have spent this time developing their experience, creating the most robust of all defence strategies and branching out to establish authentic relationships with other legal professionals.

Some of the best Barristers, QCs and forensic analysts now work on all our cases. When you engage our services, you’ll be assigned a dedicated legal team who will support you from day one of your investigation through to any potential court case.

In many cases, our team have secured acquittals and in some cases, quashed court cases before they’ve even had a chance to set a date.

Arrest & Interview

Being contacted by your police force and being informed that you are a suspect in a conspiracy to commit perjury case is frightening. They’ll want you to be brought into the police station and sit through a few gruelling hours of being questioned. They will already have evidence on you, but will ‘hide’ some of it from you to see if they can get you to incriminate yourself.

Fortunately, if you take a lawyer with you to your police interview, they have the right to demand to see all evidence that the police have on you. As soon as they find out what else there is that could incriminate you in the Court, they will begin crafting an almost bulletproof defence strategy for you.

Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?

The punishment for the offence of conspiracy to commit perjury in the UK can come with a prison sentence. Having a criminal record can negatively impact your success in future employment opportunities. Overall, it’s not a great place to be.

However, with the help of a skilled lawyer, you have a chance of successfully defending perjury as there are many defences to it. Having practised defending this crime for more than 30 years, we know them inside out. Although this offence may be in a niche field of law, it’s something we are very familiar with, and we have handled many unique circumstantial cases to successful outcomes.

We appreciate that our clients can find this a very challenging and somewhat overwhelming time. That’s why we assign a dedicated team to support you throughout the case.

If you’d like to take us up on the offer of a FREE thirty-minute consultation with us, with no obligation to hire us after, we’d love to speak with you. During this session, you can ask questions, express your concerns and worries and we can provide you with a step by step plan on how to improve the situation.

Call us today on 0208 888 5225 or fill out our contact form and we will arrange a time to meet with you in person, on the phone or an online video call. Call our emergency number for police station representation at any hour – 07980 000 076.

Get in touch with us now for conspiracy to commit perjury legal help.

 

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