One may know that any witness testifying in court must "tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth." That's why before taking the stand, witnesses have to take an oath. A person is guilty of perjury if they make a false statement after taking such an oath. Specifically, in Arizona, a person commits perjury by either making:
In both cases, the false statement, declaration, certificate, or verification must be made in regard to a material issue, or an issue that is important to the case or administrative hearing. Furthermore, the act of encouraging another person to commit perjury is also a crime and is called subornation of perjury.
A crime similar to perjury is false swearing, which a person is guilty of if they make a false sworn statement, believing it to be false.
Arizona Perjury Laws at a Glance
The penalties for perjury in Arizona are covered in the below table.
If someone is convicted of perjury, they are guilty of:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
A potential defense to perjury or false swearing is making a false statement believing it to be true. Another potential defense to perjury or false swearing is making a false statement that has nothing to do with a material issue.
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As you can see, the crimes of perjury and false swearing can carry serious criminal penalties. However, there may be defenses that apply to both crimes. If you want to learn more about the penalties or defenses associated with perjury and false swearing in Arizona, you can contact a local attorney for a free initial case review at no obligation today.
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