What is the Law on Perjury of Oath in Hawaii and What are the Punishments for it?
Providing information known by the person to be false under oath in any court or legal deliberation process is perjury. The information must be relevant or material to the deliberation at hand and must affect the outcome in a meaningful manner to qualify as material to the outcome of justice.
The law of perjury only applies when an individual declares a statement under punishment of perjury even if an appropriate official is absent to oversee said statement.
Mens Rea is a critical component of perjury.
The state of mind of the offender regarding the truth of the matter is key, and the falsity of the statement secondary when convicting an individual of perjury. As long as reckless disregard for the truth of the matter is established, culpability exists.
What is the Law on Perjury of Oath in Hawaii?
Volume 14 of the Hawaii Code, Title 37, Chapter 710 and Statue 710-1060 declares that an individual is guilty of the offense of perjury if they during the course of any legal deliberation makes an oath mandated by law, a statement which is known by the individual to be false.
No person shall be convicted of perjury unless the court is able to prove that the statement in question is a materially false statement, and no defense can be made that the individual in question making the statement mistakenly believed the statement to be immaterial.
Additionally, an individual has committed the offense of unsworn falsification to authorities under the statutes 710-1063 if they deliberately and knowingly mislead an official or public servant engaged in the performance of their legal duties by making the written, printed, or electronic statement they know to be false, in any application relating to financial matters or otherwise in a record or report legally mandated to be submitted to the records of a governmental entity, agency, or organization.
If the offender creates a reliance on falsified, altered, misrepresenting sample, map, boundary-mark, or object that is known to be fallacious in nature, that also constitutes the offense of unsworn falsification to authorities.
What does Perjury Entail?
- The oath
The offender is required to make statements under oath, or under penalty of perjury. The solemn declaration, to tell the truth, need be administered in an appropriate setting to either oral or written testimony affecting a legal outcome.
- The materialist
The content matter of the statement must be relevant to the case. The content must have the tendency or capacity to influence the members of the court or another legal body in which the statement is being made.
- The intent
The deliberate intent to defraud officials must be present. Other statutes include the intent to mislead with untrue statements that cannot be mistakenly construed as an honest mistake by the overseer.
- The falsity
The statements or testimony that is sworn must contain inconsistencies and discrepancies. Vague, ambiguous statements cannot be regarded as affirmatively false, as well as statements that are misleading, yet not ultimately false. Deliberately deceptive statements need to be fallacious in nature.
Under what circumstances does a falsified statement not constitute perjury?
When an individual testimony, statement, or affirmation made under oath, as long as the recantation is made during the same continuous court or legal proceeding, the recantation must admit the previous statement was fallacious in nature and only before the false matter has not substantially affected the outcome of justice in the proceeding.
What is the Punishment for Perjury in Hawaii?
An individual committing the offense of perjury commits a Class C felony which is punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of $10,000.
An individual committing the offense of unworn falsification to authorities commit a misdemeanor, which is punishable by imprisonment up to 1 year and/or a fine of $2000.