Georgia Perjury Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

If Pinocchio taught us anything, it was that lying can affect your life in a negative way. Although lying is not typically illegal, there are circumstances where dishonesty is a criminal offense; perjury and other related crimes are such examples. A person commits perjury when he or she intentionally lies under oath about a material issue. If you make a false statement under circumstances in which your testimony could be subpoenaed (an affidavit or affirmation, testimony at a trial, or a deposition), then you could be charged with perjury.

False Swearing

If you make a false statement under oath, you're not only subject to the penalties associated with perjury, but if you also certify a statement that you know is false in a sworn written affidavit or affirmation, you could be charged with a false swearing as well. For example, if you sign verifications of your divorce pleadings and you sign them knowing that the information is untrue.

Subornation of Perjury or False Statement

Another offense is subornation of perjury or false statement. This simply means that you have convinced another to commit perjury or to make a false statement. For example, if a man convinces his co-worker to provide a false alibi for him and the co-worker does commit perjury or makes a false statement based on the inducement, then the man could be charged under this offense.

Georgia Perjury Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of laws related to perjury laws in Georgia, including links to important code sections.

Statutes

  • Georgia Code Section 16-10-70 (Perjury)
  • Georgia Code Section 16-10-71 (False swearing)
  • Georgia Code Section 16-10-72 (Subornation of perjury or a false statement)

Penalties and Sentencing

Perjury:

  • 1- 10 years imprisonment and/ or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • If you're convicted of perjury that was the cause of another's imprisonment, then your sentence is imprisonment, not to exceed the sentence of the crime for which the other person was convicted.
  • If you're convicted of perjury that causes another to be sentenced to death, then your sentence is life imprisonment.

False Swearing:

  • Imprisonment for 1-5 years and/or a fine up to $1,000.

Subornation of Perjury/False Swearing:

  • 1-10 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000.

Possible Defenses

  • Mistake
  • You believed the truth of your statement
  • Statements were not regarding a material issue

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.

Georgia Perjury Laws: Related Resources

Confused about Perjury Charges? Find a Georgia Criminal Attorney

Being charged under Georgia's perjury laws can be confusing. It helps to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side who understands the differences between the offenses and how that can affect your case. Get started by finding a Georgia attorney located near you.

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