Many people consider lying in court as just an ordinary crime, but if we look at the seriousness of the crime, especially of the statement is sworn, it is actually a crime committed against the courts of law. It is simply defined that a person is making false testimony, which is material to the court proceedings of a case.
The penalty of perjury is different from one region to another and the gravity of the false statement to the court proceedings. However, if you will analyse the impact of the false statement made by a witness, you can understand how it carries a serious impact in the investigation of a case in court because it simply means that you are misleading the investigators, and causing irreparable damage to justice.
To have a deeper understanding on how Perjury is committed, you have to acknowledge the fact it is wrong to make a false testimony, either verbally or in a written form or a sworn statement, concerning issues or matters essential to litigation or may affect the result of the case at bar. Court investigations are serious matters which should be considered with significance and sombre.
Under the Criminal Code of 1995 (Australia) Chapter 8/268, 102, when a person commits an offence of perjury, by making a sworn statement for the purpose of a proceeding before the International Criminal Court and the statement is false, the penalty of imprisonment can be 10 years.
Perjury can also be considered a serious offence depending on the result of the testimony to the offended party.
It may not be well understood by common offenders that Perjury is considered a serious crime because it transgresses the power of the courts, as false testimonies can mislead the court in making right decisions. In short, perjury causes injustice.
Even if a statement of a person is not taken under oath or sworn, he can still be charged for perjury if he has made a statement under the penalty of perjury, such as in tax cases.
However, in statements which are made of honest mistakes without any intention of deceiving, the affiants cannot be charged of perjury. In cases of perjury, the most important element is the intention to deceive and misled the court. Likewise, in statements, which are plain facts, cannot be considered perjury, especially if the matters are immaterial to the litigation.
Therefore, if the person wilfully and lawfully sworn as a witness or makes a false statement in a judicial proceeding, then he can be charged of perjury.
The seriousness of this crime is taken into account because perjury can be the reason for injustice. It is an act defined as the "wilful and corrupt giving, upon a lawful oath, as a clear insult to the courts of justice.
It is noteworthy to state that in giving false testimonies and between giving a fact accidentally has a marginal difference and it is difficult to discern during litigation in court. Criminal lawyers Melbourne, Criminal Lawyers Newcastle, Criminal lawyers Perth
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.