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Pennsylvania Perjury Laws

Overview of Pennsylvania Perjury Laws

Perjury is a crime in Pennsylvania. Perjury occurs when in an official proceeding, a person makes a false statement under oath or swears to the truth of some statement previously made when that person knows or believes it is not true and that statement can affect the outcome of the proceeding. In the event that the person retracts their perjured statement before it affects the outcome of the proceeding taking place, then that person may not be charged with perjury.

Defenses to Perjury Charges

  • Mistake of fact
  • Intoxication
  • Entrapment
  • Lack of knowledge of statement's meaning

NOTE: It is not a defense that the defendant thought the statement would not affect the outcome of the proceeding.

Penalties and Sentences

Perjury is a crime constituting a third degree felony. This is punishable by up to seven years in prison. In addition, under Pennsylvania law, a judge may impose a fine in addition to or instead of the prison sentence at his or her discretion depending on the circumstances of the case.

Pennsylvania Perjury Statute

Pennsylvania Perjury Statute
18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Section 4902

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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