Arizona Perjury Laws

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:

  • A false statement, knowing it to be false after swearing an oath to tell the truth; or
  • A false declaration, certificate, verification or statement made without swearing an oath to tell the truth that the person represents as true under penalty of perjury, believing it to be false.

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.

Crime/Sentence

Code

Perjury

If someone is convicted of perjury, they are guilty of:

  • Class 4 felony
  • Punishable by a minimum sentence of 1 year, a maximum sentence of 3.75 years

Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-2702

False Swearing

  • Class 6 felony
  • Punishable by a minimum sentence of 1 year, a maximum sentence of 2 years

Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-2703

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.

Potential Defenses

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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