What Is The Law On Perjury Of Oath In Vermont And What Are The Punishments For It?
Perjury is the act of lying when an individual has sworn in a court or before a State agency in Vermont that he or she would speak only the truth. As with other states, Perjury is a crime in Vermont too, because the act obstructs the discovery of truth and thereby deliverance of justice.
In addition to direct Perjury, Vermont law recognizes and punishes an act of causing or making an attempt to cause another individual to commit perjury, referred to as suborning or attempting to suborn Perjury.
The crime of Perjury is punishable by imprisonment, fine or both, in Vermont.
Let us examine the specific acts that amount to Perjury under Vermont law.
Committing Perjury by Giving Contradictory Statements
According to Vermont Statutes Annotated, Title 13, Chapter 65, § 2901a, an individual is guilty of committing Perjury through inconsistent statements under the following conditions:
- The individual testifies under oath, as required by law, in any proceedings, one or more, that are conducted in a court or before a grand jury, or conducted in an ancillary to a court of law or grand jury, or conducted in relation to a contested case presented before a State agency in accordance to Vermont Statutes Annotated, Chapter 25, Title 3; and
- The individual, knowingly, gives, under oath or affirmation, 2 or more statements regarding matters that are significant to the proceedings and which can influence the outcome of the proceedings; and
- The statements made by the individual are inconsistent to an extent that he or she made one of those statements with full knowledge of one of them being false; and
- Both the statements are made by the individual before the completion of Statute of Limitations applicable to Perjury under Vermont law.
Statute of Limitations refers to the time within which proceedings against an individual charged with the crime of Perjury need to be started in the court of law. The state loses the right to initiate proceedings once this time elapses.
The Statute of Limitations for Perjury in Vermont is 3 years. So, proceedings against the accused need to start within 3 years after the commission of the crime.
Committing Perjury through False Swearing
According to Vermont Statutes Annotated, Title 13 Chapter 65, § 2904, an individual is guilty of False Swearing and thereby of Perjury under the following conditions:
- The individual is required to take an oath by law; and
- The individual, knowingly, takes false oath for the purposes of matters for which the act of taking an oath is essential.
Committing Perjury by Suborning
According to Vermont Statutes Annotated, Title 13 Chapter 65, § 2902, an individual is guilty of suborning Perjury, and thereby of Perjury, under the following conditions:
- Procures another individual and causes such an individual to commit an act of Perjury.
Attempting to Suborn
According to Vermont Statutes Annotated, Title 13, Chapter 65, § 2903, an individual is guilty of attempting to suborn under the following conditions:
- The individual through corrupt means tries to procure or incite, another individual to commit Perjury; and
- The act of Perjury does not, however, take place.
Such individual faces, upon conviction, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or a fine for an amount not exceeding $500, or both.
Penalty for Perjury
According to Vermont Statutes Annotated Title 13 Chapter 65, § 2901:
- Any individual who is required by law to testify under oath in a proceeding conducted in a court of law or before a State agency in case of a contested case in accordance with Vermont Statutes Annotated, Chapter 25 of Title 3; and
- Such an individual commits an act of Perjury;
- Such individual shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 years or fined for an amount not exceeding $10, 000, or both.