Perjury, in criminal law, willful false statement made under oath with respect to a material matter, either in a legal proceeding, as by a witness at a trial, or in matters in which an oath is authorized or required by law, as in an affidavit affecting title to property.
To constitute perjury in a legal proceeding it is not necessary that the offender know the statement would affect the determination of the case in which it is uttered; it is sufficient if the statement might have affected such a proceeding. A misstatement by a witness, made through inadvertence or mistake, does not, however, constitute perjury. A violation of a promissory oath, as, for example, the oath of office taken by a judge, does not warrant prosecution for perjury.
In most states of the U.S., perjury is a misdemeanor; in others it is a felony. Corroboration of the falsity of the statement is necessary to convict an offender; perjury cannot be proved by the statement of a single witness. Willfully procuring another person to commit perjury constitutes the crime of subornation of perjury. Even an unsuccessful attempt to suborn is a criminal offense.
If you of someone you know has been accused of perjury, you or that person need inmediate assistance. Call us or click here to find a qualified criminal defense attorney in your area.