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What is Perjury?

Perjury is defined as the false testimony submitted in a court of law while assumed to be ‘under oath’. This means that the individual submitting testimony has sworn to express the most truthful, honest, and reliable testimony with regard to the court case in question. Due to the fact that the outcome of a court case can weigh so heavily on the reliability and reputability of witness testimony, all individuals subpoenaed to appear in court must swear ‘to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help me God.’ Not only can a perjurer drastically sway the outcome of a case, but any false testimony can sully substantial and salient evidence and recounting of events.

Perjury Offense Profile

Legal Jurisdiction: Criminal Law, Trial Law

Type of Crime: Felony – unintentional perjury further affect the nature of the crime

Criminal Code: Varies upon the location of the crime, including the applicable country, nation, state, or province

Range of Punishment(s): Fines, probation, associated penalties, or incarceration – varies upon case details and the nature of the Perjury in question

Duration of Punishment(s): Varies upon case details

Applicable Punishment(s): Varies upon individual intent, criminal record, criminal history, and the victim(s) involved. A substantial variation exists separating intentional perjury from unintentional perjury. Perjurers who actively and intentionally convey false information can be subject to punishment(s) more severe than perjurers conveying fallacies unintentionally.

Perjury Allegations: Terminology and Associated Offenses

The following are commonly associated with charges of Perjury:

Intent: Intent is legally defined as the intended result for which one hopes as a result of any individual’s actions or activity. In the event of a Perjury charge, the prosecuting attorney is responsible to prove that suspect acted knowingly and deliberately in their respective fallacies conveyed within the courtroom.

Testimony: An expressed statement given under oath by an individual with regard to a trial.

Misleading the Witness: The purposeful and intentional attempt for a prosecutor to trick, confuse, or manipulate a witness.

Misunderstanding: The inability to understand questioning given by an attorney, which can result in potential perjury or false testimony.

Literal Truth: The honest and sincere conveying of truth regardless of its accuracy on the part of a witness with regard to the delivering of testimony. Typically, there does not exist a desire to perjure or lie.

Under Oath: The legally-binding commitment to deliver strictly truthful statements within the scope of a trial.

Evidence: Items or testimony illustrating or recounting the accurate detailing of events passed.

Witness Account: A recount given by an individual who observed a specific event.

Arrest Process for Perjury

Although Perjury arrests typically occur subsequent to a trial’s proceedings, individuals who have been served documentation in the form of an arrest warrant displaying a Perjury charge, or have already been arrested by law enforcement agents, are encouraged to cooperate with the arresting officers regardless of personal belief with regard to the charges.

Individuals under arrest will be given the opportunity to consult with legal specialists subsequent to the arrest process. Resisting or fleeing from a Perjury arrest can result in harm, injury, and additional penalties. Upon arrest, an individual should be made aware of the following in order to prevent any further complication(s):

Habeas Corpus

Due Process

The Presumption of Innocence.

Upon the arrest for a Perjury charge, this is the standard arrest protocol that must be upheld by any and all arresting officers. Miranda Rights include the Fifth Amendment, which states that an individual retains the right to remain silent in order to avoid incriminating themselves. This is also known as ‘pleading the Fifth’. In addition, Miranda Rights also guarantee the following rights with regard to an arrest:

The right to remain silent

The right for any words spoken during the arrest to be admissible during a trial

The right to consult with an attorney regardless of financial stature

The acknowledgement that the individual arrested for the Perjury charge understands the aforementioned rights.

The Preparation of a Perjury Defense

Individuals are encouraged to consult with attorneys specializing in criminal law and, if possible, those who focus on Perjury legality, criminal law, and trial law. In the construction of a defense, the individual may be asked to provide the nature of the Perjury in question, any included threats, the biographical information with regard to any and all victims, any previous arrests and/or convictions, evidence and witness testimony, full account of the details surrounding the event in question, and the arrangement for bail or bond.


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