new york state laws: perjury offenses

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PERJURY AND RELATED OFFENSES

Section 210.00 Perjury and related offenses;  definitions of terms - Suffolk County

 The following definitions are applicable to this article:

 1. "Oath" includes an affirmation and every other mode authorized by law of attesting to the truth of that which is stated.

 2. "Swear" means to state under oath.

 3. "Testimony" means an oral statement made under oath in a proceeding before any court, body, agency, public servant or other person authorized by law to conduct such proceeding and to administer the oath or cause it to be administered.

 4. "Oath required by law."  An affidavit, deposition or other subscribed written instrument is one for which an "oath is required by law" when, absent an oath or swearing thereto, it does not or would not, according to statute or appropriate regulatory provisions, have legal efficacy in a court of law or before any public or governmental body, agency or public servant to whom it is or might be submitted.

 5. "Swear falsely."  A person "swears falsely" when he intentionally makes a false statement which he does not believe to be true (a) while giving testimony, or (b) under oath in a subscribed written instrument.  A false swearing in a subscribed written instrument shall not be deemed complete until the instrument is delivered by its subscriber, or by someone acting in his behalf, to another person with intent that it be uttered or published as true.

 6. "Attesting officer" means any notary public or other person authorized by law to administer oaths in connection with affidavits, depositions and other subscribed written instruments, and to certify that the subscriber of such an instrument has appeared before him and has sworn to the truth of the contents thereof.

 7. "Jurat" means a clause wherein an attesting officer certifies, among other matters, that the subscriber has appeared before him and sworn to the truth of the contents thereof.
 

Section 210.05 Perjury in the third degree - Suffolk County

 A person is guilty of perjury in the third degree when he swears falsely.

 Perjury in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.
 

Section 210.10 Perjury in the second degree - Suffolk County

 A person is guilty of perjury in the second degree when he swears falsely and when his false statement is (a) made in a subscribed written instrument for which an oath is required by law, and (b) made with intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his official functions, and (c) material to the action, proceeding or matter involved.

 Perjury in the second degree is a class E felony.
 

Section 210.15 Perjury in the first degree - Suffolk County

 A person is guilty of perjury in the first degree when he swears falsely and when his false statement (a) consists of testimony, and (b) is material to the action, proceeding or matter in which it is made.

 Perjury in the first degree is a class D felony.
 

Section 210.20 Perjury;  pleading and proof where inconsistent statements involved - Suffolk County

 Where a person has made two statements under oath which are inconsistent to the degree that one of them is necessarily false, where the circumstances are such that each statement, if false, is perjuriously so, and where each statement was made within the jurisdiction of this state and within the period of the statute of limitations for the crime charged, the inability of the people to establish specifically which of the two statements is the false one does not preclude a prosecution for perjury, and such prosecution may be conducted as follows:

 1. The indictment or information may set forth the two statements and, without designating either, charge that one of them is false and perjuriously made.

 2. The falsity of one or the other of the two statements may be established by proof or a showing of their irreconcilable inconsistency.

 3. The highest degree of perjury of which the defendant may be convicted is determined by hypothetically assuming each statement to be false and perjurious.  If under such circumstances perjury of the same degree would be established by the making of each statement, the defendant may be convicted of that degree at most.  If perjury of different degrees would be established by the making of the two statements, the defendant may be convicted of the lesser degree at most.
 

Section 210.25 Perjury;  defense - Suffolk County

 In any prosecution for perjury, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant retracted his false statement in the course of the proceeding in which it was made before such false statement substantially affected the proceeding and before it became manifest that its falsity was or would be exposed.
 

Section 210.30 Perjury;  no defense - Suffolk County

 It is no defense to a prosecution for perjury that:

 1. The defendant was not competent to make the false statement alleged;  or

 2. The defendant mistakenly believed the false statement to be immaterial;  or

 3. The oath was administered or taken in an irregular manner or that the authority or jurisdiction of the attesting officer who administered the oath was defective, if such defect was excusable under any statute or rule of law.
 

Section 210.35 Making an apparently sworn false statement in the second degree - Suffolk County

 A person is guilty of making an apparently sworn false statement in the second degree when (a) he subscribes a written instrument knowing that it contains a statement which is in fact false and which he does not believe to be true, and (b) he intends or believes that such instrument will be uttered or delivered with a jurat affixed thereto, and (c) such instrument is uttered or delivered with a jurat affixed thereto.

 Making an apparently sworn false statement in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.
 

Section 210.40 Making an apparently sworn false statement in the first degree - Suffolk County

 A person is guilty of making an apparently sworn false statement in the first degree when he commits the crime of making an apparently sworn false statement in the second degree, and when (a) the written instrument involved is one for which an oath is required by law, and (b) the false statement contained therein is made with intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his official functions, and (c) such false statement is material to the action, proceeding or matter involved.

 Making an apparently sworn false statement in the first degree is a class E felony.
 

Section 210.45 Making a punishable false written statement - Suffolk County

 A person is guilty of making a punishable false written statement when he knowingly makes a false statement, which he does not believe to be true, in a written instrument bearing a legally authorized form notice to the effect that false statements made therein are punishable.

 Making a punishable false written statement is a class A misdemeanor.
 

Section 210.50 Perjury and related offenses;  requirement of corroboration - Suffolk County

 In any prosecution for perjury, except a prosecution based upon inconsistent statements pursuant to section 210.20, or in any prosecution for making an apparently sworn false statement, or making a punishable false written statement, falsity of a statement may not be established by the uncorroborated testimony of a single witness.

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