When Can Lying Be Against the Law?
Yes, lying can actually be against the law. In most scenarios, liars are nothing more than people who avoid problems by not telling the truth, leading other people to simply lose respect for the liar. But in some cases, it can be far worse. There are times when lying can actually be against the law, and knowing when this is the case could help you from making a simple mistake that could carry some heavy consequences.
Essentially, there are a few elements to lying that can be against the law. Lying in court is one such scenario, where it is not known as “lying” so much as it is known as “fraud”. Fraud is simply an intentional lie. This means that there is evidence that you knew the truth but tried to cover it up. Next, there is the idea that you had no intention to lie but made the mistake of doing so. Let’s say, for example, that you said a “lie” as a joke. In this case, assuming you meant for something to be taken as a joke, it is not considered fraud.
In most cases, the court will examine what people could gain from believing a lie, and try to determine the intent behind why the person said it. If there was a lot of misinformation formed from the lie, then an intent to lie is clearly evident. Basically, if the liar simply lied to benefit himself, there is clear intention in this action to act fraudulently on the liar’s behalf. Lastly, the court will look at whether or not the liar caused harm, whether it be on purpose or by accident. Say, for example, the person who believed the lie was injured as a direct result of the lie, there will likely be a liability for fraud. However, emotional “injury” or loss is not enough to justify fraud.
An example of fraud would be lying to cover up a murder. If you know of specific evidence surrounding a murder and lied to cover it up, this is extremely illegal and is a clear example of fraud.
However, there may be cases where people are charged with fraud unjustly. If this has happened to you, contact Tumelty Law immediately. Mr. Tumelty will do everything in his power to fight for your case. Contact his office today to schedule a consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.