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North Carolina Perjury Laws

While there are several types of crimes, the most well-known fall into one of two categories: crimes against persons or crimes against property. However, perjury falls into another category: crimes against justice. Other crimes against justice include criminal contempt of court and failure to report a crime. These types of crimes prevent the criminal justice system from functioning properly.

The definition of perjury may change based on the jurisdiction, but it's generally defined as making false statements (orally or in writing) while under oath. North Carolina has three statutes addressing perjury: perjury, subornation of perjury (persuading someone to commit perjury) and perjury before a legislative committee. North Carolina classifies all types of perjury as felonies, although subornation of perjury and perjury before a legislative committee are lesser felonies.

North Carolina Perjury Laws

Below you will find key provisions of perjury laws in North Carolina.


North Carolina General Statutes Section 14-209, et seq.

Elements of the Crime

In order to convict a person on perjury, the prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • The defendant made a false statement under oath;
  • The defendant acted willfully and corruptly;
  • The statement was made in a court proceeding or other situation in which the defendant took an oath (such as a deposition); and
  • The statement was made in regards to a matter that's material to the issue.

Perjury is a class F felony.

Subornation of perjury is a class I felony.

Perjury before a legislative committee is a class I felony.


The penalties for a felony conviction will depend on various factors and are determined by the provisions of Section 15A-1340.13, et seq. However, if the offender doesn't have a previous felony conviction, the following penalties are authorized by law:

  • Intermediate or active punishment* between 13 to 16 months for a class F felony.
  • Community punishment between 4 to 6 months for a class I felony.

*North Carolina separates penalties into active, intermediate, and community punishment, which are defined as follows:

  • Active punishment requires imprisonment.
  • Intermediate punishment requires supervised probation.
  • Community punishment doesn't include active punishment or special probation.

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.

North Carolina Perjury Laws: Related Resources

For more information related to this topic, please click on the links below:

Charged Under North Carolina's Perjury Laws? Contact an Attorney

Perjury is a serious crime in pretty much all jurisdictions, including North Carolina. If you've been charged with perjury in North Carolina, it's in your best interest to get in touch with a skilled criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and prepare the best defense.

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