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What is the Law on Perjury of Oath in Delaware and what are the Punishments for it?

Perjury is one of the most serious ones can commit in the eyes of the law and especially the justice system. It is a crime that undermines the legitimacy of courts and other government agencies. It has the ability to compromise the law enforcement agencies, juries, judges, and other officials who implement the law of the land. Since most of the legal system is based on trust and credibility, perjury is the crime that wrecks this intangible trust.

Perjury can be defined as the act of giving or making false information usually under oath with an intention/or knowingly trying to influence the proceedings in his/her favor. Some examples of Perjury include testifying and giving false information in court in order to influence the proceedings of a case. Perjury is often to build up a fake alibi. Perjury is a crime which is sometimes difficult to identify and catch the perpetrator. It may lead the law enforcement agencies on a wild goose chase, thereby wrecking the investigation and causing irreparable damage to the victim's families.

Perjury is, therefore, a crime which is taken very seriously. In today's day and age with the advent of technology, security cameras, and social media it has become a bit easier to determine if the person is telling the truth. If convicted, it may become difficult for someone to find a job after getting out. In most of the professions, truth is valued and many organizations would not want someone who has been accused of lying, especially professions such as a teacher, or other jobs which include public service. According to federal laws, a person convicted of perjury may face up to 5 years in federal prison.

Delaware Perjury Law
Perjury in Delaware; Laws and Penalties

States in the US have different laws dealing with perjury and Delaware is no exception. The statute of Delaware has classified perjury into three degrees; First, Second and Third.

  • Perjury in the third degree: An individual may be guilty of perjury in the third degree when he/she swears falsely. This has been termed as a Class A misdemeanor and it invites a penalty up to 1 year in jail or a fine of $2,300 or both.
  • Perjury in the second degree: This occurs when the individual swears falsely and is material to the matter involved, is intended to mislead a public servant and is done in the form of a written instrument. This is termed as a Class F felony and it carries a penalty of up to 2 years in prison.
  • Perjury in the third degree: It is classified as perjury in the third degree when the individual swears falsely and it includes testimony and is material to the proceeding that is being taken place. It is classified as a Class D felony and it carries a penalty of up to 8 years in prison.

The statute of Delaware state also gives the explanation of a person making a false written statement. It states that when a person makes a false statement which he believes to be false or believes that it is not true, then the person is guilty of making a false written statement. It also states that the written statement should bear a notice, be authorized by law, in which making a false statement is punishable by law. This has been classified as a Class A misdemeanor and as stated it carries a penalty of up to 1 year in prison or a fine of $2,300, or both.


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