Thursday, November 13, 2008

What about aggravated perjury?

According to the Texas Penal Code, a person commits perjury if, with the intent to deceive and with knowledge of the statement's meaning, he makes a false statement under oath.  Perjury is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in the county jail.

A person commits aggravated perjury, however, if the false statement is made during or in connection with an official proceeding and if the false statement is material.  A statement is material if it "could have affected the course or outcome of the official proceeding." Aggravated perjury is a third degree felony punishable by from 2 - 10 years in the state penitentiary.

Per the Texas Breath Alcohol Testing Regulations, the technical supervisor shall provide "expert testimony...concerning all aspects of breath alcohol testing within an assigned area."

In a DWI trial with a breath test, the technical supervisor must take the stand and testify that the machine was working properly on the day the test in question was given.  The technical supervisor must also testify that the machine was maintained properly. This testimony is required to admit a breath test result.  A technical supervisor must also testify as such during a license suspension hearing, but that testimony may be made by affidavit.

As Dee Wallace's testimony was necessary in order to secure convictions based on breath tests, her testimony at those trials was material.  Therefore, not only did Ms. Wallace tamper with government documents, she committed the offense of aggravated perjury, too.

Ms. Wallace's next court appearance is set for December 10, 2008 in the 182nd Judicial District Court.

1 comment:

Mark Bennett said...

I have reason to believe the ADA handling the case is looking for instances in which Wallace testified. You'd think those would be pretty easy to find.