If you have been charged with any crime you should retain a defence lawyer immediately. Experienced defence counsel can assist you with fighting your charges.
In criminal law cases where there is a trial, occasionally parties taking the stand to testify, be they the victim, police officers, general witnesses or the accused may take it upon themselves to lie to the court. While logically one may consider lying for their own benefit to avoid embarrassment or conviction, it can lead to additional charges. Lying to the court is a serious offence, known as “perjury”.
The Criminal Code offence of perjury can be found at section 132, which reads:
131 (1) Subject to subsection (3), every one commitsperjury who, with intent to mislead, makes before a personwho is authorized by law to permit it to be made beforehim a false statement under oath or solemn affirmation,by affidavit, solemn declaration or deposition ororally, knowing that the statement is false.
In other words, you must be under oath or affirmation (this takes place before any witness testifies in court), you must provide a false statement (lie), you must know that the statement is untrue and there must be the intention to mislead. Not knowing that the statement was false, or not intending to mislead the court are both valid defences to perjury. Likewise lying to police does not typically qualify as perjury (usually you are not under oath) but could count as another charge (such as obstruct justice). For example, innocently misremembering what the perpetrator looked like would not qualify as perjury, whereas intentionally describing the perpetrator’s appearance to convict your enemy would be perjury.
Perjury is taken very seriously by the courts. It is an indictable offence punishable by a maximum of fourteen years imprisonment. This is especially relevant if an accused has beaten another charge through committing perjury.
Being convicted of a criminal offence is a very serious matter. It can lead to job loss, imprisonment, loss of reputation, loss of immigration status or limit your ability to travel. Given these serious consequences, many charged with a crime are tempted to lie to help their case, this unfortunately lands some people with new charges of perjury. If you have been charged with any crime, please contact a criminal defence lawyer immediately. Mehdi Au LLP has criminal lawyers on staff who can help with your case.
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