Criminal offences and charges can have long-lasting repercussions on an individual's future. Therefore, most people will take every possible action to avoid being prosecuted and penalised. Unfortunately, numerous defendants do not understand that their conduct after the initial arrest can escalate their situation. In some cases, the actions can lead to some additional criminal charges being filed. So, it is critical for you understand the offences which are considered to be crimes against justice if you are involved in a criminal case directly or indirectly. Here is a brief discussion on the common actions which will be categorised and prosecuted as offences against the justice system.
Bribery of Officials
You should be cautious about any actions which can be interpreted as bribery during a criminal case. In general, bribery can be defined as the process of offering a public official benefits or favours so that they will act in your interests during the proceedings. The public official can be any individual linked to the justice system, including the police officers and magistrates. The potential benefits are not limited to monetary gains, so you should avoid giving any favours or related promises. Bribery is considered to be a grave crime, and offenders are penalised heavily to discourage this unlawful conduct.
Contempt of the Court
You should behave as advised or directed by your lawyers during the court proceedings for your case. If you act inappropriately, the magistrate presiding over the room can hold you in contempt of court. In simple terms, you will be guilty of this crime if the magistrate thinks that you are challenging or simply ignoring the authority or direction of the court. For example, if you interrupt the proceedings during a hearing, you will be considered to have no reverence for the court, the justice system or the legal officials. The potential penalties will vary depending on circumstances.
Making False Statements
If you provide false evidence in court deliberately, you will be guilty of perjury. You can also be charged with making a false statement or filing a false report after the initial arrest for a criminal charge. Therefore, you should remember that you are required to tell the truth when giving evidence, swearing an affidavit or making a statutory declaration. Failing to be truthful in these circumstances could cause more legal problems.
You should consult an experienced lawyer if you are facing criminal charges in court. The legal expert will provide guidance on proper conduct during court proceedings, preventing the escalation of the case.