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What You Need To Know About Perjury

What You Need To Know About Perjury

If you have been charged with any crime, you should retain a defence lawyer immediately. Experienced defence counsel can assist you with fighting your charges. 

What Is Perjury?

Perjury is a false statement provided under oath by a witness by making a statement in a court or other proceeding that the witness knows is not true. The statement must be “material” to the subject of the proceeding, meaning that it must have some relationship to the lawsuit, investigation, or inquiry of the proceeding.

While logically, one may consider lying for their own benefit to avoid embarrassment or conviction, it can lead to additional charges. Lying in court is a serious crime known as “perjury.” Perjury is a grave offence because it can derail the fundamental goal of the justice system—discovering the truth. Even influential people have faced the consequences of Perjury, including prosecution, prison, and impeachment.

The Criminal Code of Canada describes the offence of Perjury within Section 131(1) and its subsection 3. Any person knowingly making a false statement under oath or solemn affirmation (by affidavit, solemn declaration, deposition, or orally) in front of a person authorized by law to allow it to be made in front of him commits Perjury. To conclude, you must be under oath or affirmation (this takes place before any witness testifies in court), provide a false statement (lie), and know that the statement is untrue with an intention to mislead.

Not knowing that the statement was false or not intending to mislead the court are both valid defenses against Perjury.

Likewise, lying to the police does not typically qualify as Perjury (usually, you are not under oath) but could count as another charge (such as obstructing justice). For instance, it would not be considered Perjury innocently misremember what the criminal looked like; however, it would be unlawful to describe the perpetrator’s looks to convict your enemy purposefully.

Punishment For Perjury Under The Criminal Code 

A person found guilty of the offence of Perjury in a judicial proceeding is subject to punishment. The courts take the offence of Perjury quite seriously. It is an indictable offence punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years. This is necessary if the defendant successfully refuted another accusation by committing Perjury.

A criminal offence conviction is a highly alarming and upsetting. It may cause you to lose your job, go to jail, ruin your reputation, lose your immigration status, or have your travel options restricted. Given these grave repercussions, many people accused of a crime are tempted to make up enough to support their defence; unfortunately, this leads to some people being prosecuted again with Perjury.

Reach Out To Us!

If you have been charged with any crime, please contact a criminal defence lawyer immediately. Ayaz Mehdi Professional Corporation has criminal lawyers available who can provide you with professional legal advice.

Disclaimer: Kindly note that sending or receiving information through this site does not establish a solicitor-client relationship. Legal matters are fact-specific, and the law is variably changing. The views expressed and the content provided on this blog are general guidelines and cannot substitute for proper legal advice. Schedule your legal consultation by clicking here: Let’s meet!

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