Will I Go To Jail For Lying on Interrogatory Answers?

I am in a lawsuit and had to answer interrogatories.  I didn’t tell the truth about some things and the other side found out about it.  Can I get sent to jail for not tellling the truth?

There is a risk of jail or a fine because interrogatories are answered under oath and lying under oath is perjury.  However, I am unaware of any person actually having been jailed for not telling the truth in answers to interrogatories.

A more realistic risk is that the trial judge may sanction you (he or she would have the right to dismiss your case or, if you were sued, strike the answer in the case and enter judgment against you.)   Lesser sanctions would include telling the jury what you did, awarding attorneys fees against you, and other penalties.  Your mistake will also hurt your credibility with the judge and jury.

It is essential that truthful answers be given under oath, whether in response to interrogatories or when giving oral testimony.  Even if criminal penalties are not imposed lies, and even mistakes, can hurt your case.