Criminal Offenses

Perjury and False Swearing

SECTION 11-33-1

§ 11-33-1. Perjury.

(a) Every person under oath or affirmation who knowingly makes any false material declaration or makes or uses any other information, including any book, paper, document, record, recording, or other material, knowing it contains any false material declaration, shall be deemed guilty of perjury.

(b) An indictment or information for violation of this section alleging that on oath or affirmation the defendant has knowingly made two (2) or more declarations which are inconsistent to the degree that one of them is necessarily false need not specify which declaration is false if:

(1) Each declaration was material to the point in question; and

(2) Each declaration was made within the period of the statute of limitations established in § 12-12-17.

(c) In any prosecution under this section, the falsity of a declaration set forth in the indictment or information shall be established sufficient for conviction by proof that the defendant on oath or affirmation made irreconcilably contradictory declarations material to the point in question. It shall be a defense to an indictment or information made pursuant to this subsection that the defendant, at the time he or she made each declaration, believed the declaration was true.

(d) Where in the same continuous court or grand jury proceeding in which a declaration is made, the person making the declaration admits the declaration to be false, that admission shall bar prosecution under this section if, at the time the admission is made, the declaration has not substantially affected the proceeding, or it has not become manifest that the falsity has been or will be exposed.

(e) Proof beyond a reasonable doubt under this section is sufficient for conviction. It shall not be necessary that proof be made by any particular number of witnesses or by documentary or other type of evidence.

History of Section.
(G.L. 1896, ch. 276, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 342, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 394, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 605, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 11-33-1; P.L. 1981, ch. 244, § 1.)