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The Florida Statutes

The 2014 Florida Statutes

Title XLVI
CRIMES
Chapter 837
PERJURY
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CHAPTER 837
CHAPTER 837
PERJURY
837.011 Definitions.
837.012 Perjury when not in an official proceeding.
837.02 Perjury in official proceedings.
837.021 Perjury by contradictory statements.
837.05 False reports to law enforcement authorities.
837.055 False information to law enforcement during investigation.
837.06 False official statements.
837.07 Recantation as a defense.
837.011 Definitions.In this chapter, unless a different meaning plainly is required:
(1) “Official proceeding” means a proceeding heard, or which may be or is required to be heard, before any legislative, judicial, administrative, or other governmental agency or official authorized to take evidence under oath, including any referee, general or special magistrate, administrative law judge, hearing officer, hearing examiner, commissioner, notary, or other person taking testimony or a deposition in connection with any such proceeding.
(2) “Oath” includes affirmation or any other form of attestation required or authorized by law by which a person acknowledges that he or she is bound in conscience or law to testify truthfully in an official proceeding or other official matter.
(3) “Material matter” means any subject, regardless of its admissibility under the rules of evidence, which could affect the course or outcome of the proceeding. Whether a matter is material in a given factual situation is a question of law.
History.s. 53, ch. 74-383; s. 316, ch. 96-410; s. 1823, ch. 97-102; s. 98, ch. 2004-11.
837.012 Perjury when not in an official proceeding.
(1) Whoever makes a false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath, not in an official proceeding, in regard to any material matter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) Knowledge of the materiality of the statement is not an element of this crime, and the defendant’s mistaken belief that his or her statement was not material is not a defense.
History.s. 2, ch. 1637, 1868; RS 2560; GS 3472; RGS 5341; CGL 7474; s. 997, ch. 71-136; s. 54, ch. 74-383; s. 32, ch. 75-298; s. 205, ch. 91-224; s. 1310, ch. 97-102.
Note.Former s. 837.01.
837.02 Perjury in official proceedings.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), whoever makes a false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath in an official proceeding in regard to any material matter, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(2) Whoever makes a false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath in an official proceeding that relates to the prosecution of a capital felony, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) Knowledge of the materiality of the statement is not an element of the crime of perjury under subsection (1) or subsection (2), and the defendant’s mistaken belief that the statement was not material is not a defense.
History.s. 1, sub-ch. 6, ch. 1637, 1868; RS 2561; GS 3473; RGS 5343; CGL 7477; s. 998, ch. 71-136; s. 55, ch. 74-383; s. 33, ch. 75-298; s. 3, ch. 97-90; s. 1311, ch. 97-102.
837.021 Perjury by contradictory statements.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), whoever, in one or more official proceedings, willfully makes two or more material statements under oath which contradict each other, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(2) Whoever, in one or more official proceedings that relate to the prosecution of a capital felony, willfully makes two or more material statements under oath which contradict each other, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) In any prosecution for perjury under this section:
(a) The prosecution may proceed in a single count by setting forth the willful making of contradictory statements under oath and alleging in the alternative that one or more of them are false.
(b) The question of whether a statement was material is a question of law to be determined by the court.
(c) It is not necessary to prove which, if any, of the contradictory statements is not true.
(d) It is a defense that the accused believed each statement to be true at the time the statement was made.
(4) A person may not be prosecuted under this section for making contradictory statements in separate proceedings if the contradictory statement made in the most recent proceeding was made under a grant of immunity under s. 914.04; but such person may be prosecuted under s. 837.02 for any false statement made in that most recent proceeding, and the contradictory statements may be received against him or her upon any criminal investigation or proceeding for such perjury.
History.s. 1, ch. 72-314; s. 56, ch. 74-383; s. 34, ch. 75-298; s. 2, ch. 85-41; s. 4, ch. 97-90; s. 1312, ch. 97-102.
837.05 False reports to law enforcement authorities.
(1)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) or subsection (2), a person who knowingly gives false information to a law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of any crime, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) A person who commits a violation of paragraph (a) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the person has previously been convicted of a violation of paragraph (a) and subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. applies:
1. The information the person gave to the law enforcement officer was communicated orally and the officer’s account of that information is corroborated by:
a. An audio recording or audio recording in a video of that information;
b. A written or recorded statement made by the person who gave that information; or
c. Another person who was present when that person gave that information to the officer and heard that information.
2. The information the person gave to the law enforcement officer was communicated in writing.
(2) A person who knowingly gives false information to a law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of a capital felony, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 57, ch. 74-383; s. 34, ch. 75-298; s. 206, ch. 91-224; s. 5, ch. 97-90; s. 1, ch. 2013-117.
837.055 False information to law enforcement during investigation.
(1) Whoever knowingly and willfully gives false information to a law enforcement officer who is conducting a missing person investigation or a felony criminal investigation with the intent to mislead the officer or impede the investigation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) Whoever knowingly and willfully gives false information to a law enforcement officer who is conducting a missing person investigation involving a child 16 years of age or younger with the intent to mislead the officer or impede the investigation, and the child who is the subject of the investigation suffers great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 1, ch. 2006-142; s. 1, ch. 2012-53.
837.06 False official statements.Whoever knowingly makes a false statement in writing with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his or her official duty shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 58, ch. 74-383; s. 34, ch. 75-298; s. 207, ch. 91-224; s. 1313, ch. 97-102.
837.07 Recantation as a defense.Recantation shall be a defense to any prosecution for perjury or false statement only if the person making the false statement admits such statement to be false in the same continuous proceeding or matter, and:
(1) The false statement has not substantially affected the proceeding; or
(2) Such admission is made before it has become manifest that such false statement has been or will be exposed.
History.s. 1, ch. 90-126.