What is the Law on Perjury of oath in New Hampshire and What are the Punishments for it?
Perjury is an offense defined by New Hampshire law in the following manner. If a person, during an official proceeding, does any of the following, he or she can be charged with perjury in New Hampshire:
- Make a statement that is false while under oath
- Swear or affirm to truth made previously knowing that such statement is untrue
- Make statements under oath that is not consistent, within the period of limitations, and where a statement is sworn to be true in spite of the person making it knowing it to be false
The Definition of Official Proceedings?
An official proceeding in any proceeding held by a legislative body or judicial body or administrative body. It also includes proceedings held by government bodies or by an official who is authorized by law to obtain evidence while under an oath. Even notaries or any other person that takes evidence related to the aforementioned proceedings will be considered an official proceeding.
What Statements are Material to an Official Proceeding?
A statement or material that is spoken or provided by a person under oath includes anything that can affect the course or result of the official proceedings. However, statements that are taken back during the official proceedings which did not become obvious which could be exposed as a lie before they could considerably change the course of the official proceedings will not be considered material. It is up to the court of law to determine whether a statement is in fact material or not.
Lying Under Oath is Not Permissible
Lying under oath is not permitted in New Hampshire as well as in the rest of the USA. Telling lies is wrong and will be punished according to the law. Perjury, as defined by the state of New Hampshire, is telling a wilful lie in court or in an official capacity. Thus, anyone falsely making a claim while under oath can be charged with perjury.
The fact is that lies are told in courts of law from time to time. Perjury is defined in New Hampshire according to RSA 641:1 which also deals with the punishments for perjury. Anyone that is convicted of making false statements under oath will be charged with a Class B felony. Perjury may occur at any time whilst speaking under oath. Thus, it is important to ensure that all statements made under oath are true. The more upfront a person under oath is, the less likely it is that he or she will find themselves in perjury trouble.
Keep in mind that being arrested for perjury has serious ramifications on your life and career. If you are found to be lying under oath, then people’s perception of you will change. Keep in mind, that being charged with perjury will embarrass you which is why it makes sense for you to ensure that you only tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
What is Perjury?
To be charged with perjury, the following elements must be present:
- You need to be under oath
- You must make a statement that tries to mislead the law
- You must make a statement that is false
Statements that are made in an inconsistent manner will invite perjury charges. However, only material statements can be considered perjury. Even statements that are superfluous to the outcome can be considered perjury.
What are the Punishments for Perjury under Oath in New Hampshire?
Anyone convicted of perjury under federal law will be punished severely. In fact, it could mean having to spend up to 5 years in federal prison for a federal conviction. Each state deals with perjury under its own state laws. In many instances, perjury may be considered a felony that invites time behind bars for a minimum of one year, a fine as well as probation. Depending on the effect of perjury on the official proceedings, the punishment varies.