Elements of the Crime: Perjury


Michigan law

Perjury is a serious offense that carries very serious consequences. Below are the statutes and jury instructions regarding the offense of perjury:

M Crim JI 14.2 Perjury

(1) The defendant is charged with the crime of perjury. To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

(2) First, that the defendant took an oath to tell the truth. [An oath is a solemn promise to tell the truth.]*

(3) Second, that the oath was [authorized / required] by a law of the state of Michigan. An oath is [authorized / required] by [state law of requirement under which the oath was allegedly taken].

(4) Third, that while under oath the defendant made a false statement. The statement that is alleged to have been false in this case is that [give details of alleged false statement].

(5) Fourth, that the defendant knew that the statement was false when [he / she] made it.

See MCL 750.422 and MCL 750.423

750.422 Perjury committed in courts.

Sec. 422.

Perjury committed in courts—Any person who, being lawfully required to depose the truth in any proceeding in a court of justice, shall commit perjury shall be guilty of a felony, punishable, if such perjury was committed on the trial of an indictment for a capital crime, by imprisonment in the state prison for life, or any term of years, and if committed in any other case, by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 15 years.

750.423 Perjury; penalty; "record" and "signed" defined.

Sec. 423.

(1) Any person authorized by a statute of this state to take an oath, or any person of whom an oath is required by law, who willfully swears falsely in regard to any matter or thing respecting which the oath is authorized or required is guilty of perjury, a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years.

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