Michigan Perjury Laws

When you knowingly and intentionally make a false statement under oath or knowingly sign a document that is misleading, you have committed perjury. Perjury is considered a crime against justice because it jeopardizes the integrity of the legal system by corrupting it with lies and deceit. In Michigan a defendant is guilty of perjury when all of the following have been met:

  • The defendant is legally required to take an oath in a legal proceeding;
  • The defendant took the oath;
  • The defendant made a false statement while under oath; and
  • The defendant knew that the statement was false.

Subornation of Perjury

Michigan also penalizes any person who induces another person to commit perjury. Even if the other person doesn't commit the perjury, the inducer can still be charged under a lesser offense.

Michigan Perjury Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of statutes related to Michigan's perjury laws, including links to important code sections.

Statutes

  • Michigan Compiled Laws 750.423 (Perjury)
  • Michigan Compiled Laws 750.422 (Perjury committed in courts)
  • Michigan Compiled Laws 750.422a (False statement)
  • Michigan Compiled Laws 750.424 (Subornation of perjury)
  • Michigan Compiled Laws 750.425 (Penalties)
  • Michigan Compiled Laws 750.426, 427 (Procedures)

Penalties

  • Perjury: An individual who commits perjury is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment up to 15 years.
  • Perjury committed in courts: An individual who lawfully is required to depose the truth in any court proceeding and commits perjury in a trial of indictment for a capital crime is guilty of a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of imprisonment for life. If it is for any other case, then the penalty is imprisonment for up to 15 years.
  • False statement in a petition: An individual who makes a false statement in a petition is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment by up to 5 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Inciting or procuring perjury: An individual who incites or procures another to commit perjury is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
  • Procuring perjury, but perjury not committed: This is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Possible Defenses

  • Mistake
  • Defendant believed the truth of the statement.
  • The statement was not false.
  • The statement did not concern a material issue.

Related Offenses

  • Witness intimidation and bribery: Michigan Compiled Laws 750.122
  • Tampering with evidence: Michigan Compiled Laws 750.483a
  • Forgery: Michigan Compiled Laws 750.248

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.

Michigan Perjury Laws: Related Resources

Defend Perjury Charges with an Attorney's Help

Because Michigan's perjury laws deal with integrity and candor, being convicted can harm your reputation and can affect your chances of employment. Protect your future by consulting with a local criminal defense attorney who can mount a solid defense on your behalf.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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