Perjury

An intentional lie in a courtroom proceeding after having taken an oath to speak truthfully.

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Answers.com

The deliberate, willful giving of false, misleading, or incomplete testimony under oath.

Duhaime Legal Dictionary

An intentional lie given while under oath or in a sworn affidavit.

Encyclopedia Britannica

In law, the giving of false testimony under oath on an issue or point of inquiry regarded as material.

Both traditional and modern legal systems have provisions for taking testimony under oath and mandate penalties for giving false testimony. Islamic law, for example, relies heavily on testimony under oath for criminal convictions. The teachings of Muhammad as recorded in the Qur??n contain clear injunctions against making a false oath and specify penalties when it occurs.

FindLaw

The act or crime of knowingly making a false statement (as about a material matter) while under oath or bound by an affirmation or other officially prescribed declaration that what one says, writes, or claims is true

Law.com Dictionary

n. the crime of intentionally lying after being duly sworn (to tell the truth) by a notary public, court clerk or other official. This false statement may be made in testimony in court, administrative hearings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, as well as by signing or acknowledging a written legal document (such as affidavit, declaration under penalty of perjury, deed, license application, tax return) known to contain false information. Although it is a crime, prosecutions for perjury are rare, because a defendant will argue he/she merely made a mistake or misunderstood.

Legal-Dictionary.org

The criminal act of making a deliberately false statement while under oath. The false statement must be material to the issue at hand.

The Free (Legal) Dictionary

A crime that occurs when an individual willfully makes a false statement during a judicial proceeding, after he or she has taken an oath to speak the truth.

The common-law crime of perjury is now governed by both state and federal laws. In addition, the Model Penal Code, which has been adopted in some form by many states and promulgated by the Commission on Uniform State Laws, also sets forth the following basic elements for the crime of perjury: (1) a false statement is made under oath or equivalent affirmation during a judicial proceeding; (2) the statement must be material or relevant to the proceeding; and (3) the witness must have the Specific Intent to deceive.

The punishment for perjury in most states, and under federal law, is the imposition of a fine, imprisonment, or both. Federal law also imposes sentencing enhancements when the court determines that a defendant has falsely testified on her own behalf and is convicted. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the court is required to automatically increase the defendant's sentence.

Wikipedia

Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the willful act of swearing a false oath or affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to a judicial proceeding. That is, the witness falsely promises to tell the truth about matters which affect the outcome of the case. For example, it is not considered perjury to lie about one's age unless age is a factor in determining the legal result, such as eligibility for old age retirement benefits.

Perjury is considered a serious offense as it can be used to usurp the power of the courts, resulting in miscarriages of justice. In the United States, for example, the general perjury statute under Federal law defines perjury as a felony and provides for a prison sentence of up to five years. In the United Kingdom a potential penalty for perjury is a prison sentence of up to 7 years. However prosecutions for perjury are rare.

The rules for perjury also apply when a person has made a statement under penalty of perjury, even if the person has not been sworn or affirmed as a witness before an appropriate official. An example of this is the United States' income tax return, which, by law, must be signed as true and correct under penalty of perjury. Federal tax law provides criminal penalties of up to three years in prison for violation of the tax return perjury statute.