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    Perjury  (18-8-503), (18-8-504).


    These are only the basic elements of these crimes – to fully understand a crime with which you are charged you will need a much greater understanding of Colorado Criminal Law.

    This web site is designed to empower criminal defendants by helping them understand every phase of the criminal justice process. It also addresses the different types of defenses and strategies that exist in the Colorado Criminal Justice System.

    If you are charged with a crime and seek to understand the new world you have entered – you need to understand that criminal laws and procedures can be so complex that even judges can get them wrong.


    18-8-503. Perjury in the second degree.


    a. A person commits perjury in the second degree if, other than in an official proceeding, with an intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his duty, he makes a materially false statement, which he does not believe to be true, under an oath required or authorized by law.

    b. Perjury in the second degree is a class 1 misdemeanor.


    18-8-504. False swearing.


    a. A person commits false swearing if he knowingly makes a materially false statement, other than those prohibited by sections 18-8-502 and 18-8-503, which he does not believe to be true, under an oath required or authorized by law.

    b. False swearing is a class 1 petty offense.


    18-8-505. Perjury or false swearing – inconsistent statements.


    a. Where a person charged with perjury or false swearing has made inconsistent material statements under oath, both having been made within the period of the statute of limitations, the prosecution may proceed by setting forth the inconsistent statements in a single count alleging in the alternative that one or the other was false and not believed by the defendant. In such case it shall not be necessary for the prosecution to prove which statement was false but only that one or the other statement was false and not believed by the defendant to be true.

    b. The highest offense of which a person may be convicted in such an instance shall be determined by hypothetically assuming each statement to be false. If the assumption establishes perjury of different degrees, the person may be convicted of the lesser degree at most. If perjury or false swearing is established by the making of the two statements, the person may be convicted of false swearing at the most.


    18-8-506. Perjury and false swearing – proof.


    In any prosecution for perjury or false swearing, except a prosecution based upon inconsistent statements pursuant to section 18-8-505, falsity of a statement may not be established solely through contradiction by the uncorroborated testimony of a single witness.

    18-8-507. Perjury and false swearing – previous criminal action.


    No prosecution may be brought under sections 18-8-502, 18-8-503, or 18-8-504 if the substance of the defendant’s false statement is the entry of a plea of not guilty in a previous criminal action in which he or she was accused of an offense.


     18-8-508. Perjury – retraction.


    No person shall be convicted of perjury in the first degree if he retracted his false statement in the course of the same proceeding in which it was made. Statements made in separate hearings at separate stages of the same trial or administrative proceeding shall be deemed to have been made in the course of the same proceeding. Retraction is an affirmative defense.

    18-8-509. Perjury and false swearing – irregularities no defense.


    a.  It is no defense to a prosecution under sections 18-8-502 to 18-8-504 that: 1. The defendant was not competent, for reasons other than mental disability or immaturity, to make the false statement alleged;

    2. The statement was inadmissible under the law of evidence;

    3. The oath was administered or taken in an irregular manner; or

     b. The person administering the oath lacked authority to do so, if the taking of the oath was required by law. 

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    H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
    Attorney and Counselor at Law
    The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
    A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
    Colorado Criminal Law For Over 40 Years.
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