Why are people under oath

Penalty for false statements

A false testimony is a testimony before the police, the public prosecutor's office or the court, which does not correspond to the truth. There are various reasons for this. The penalty for false testimony is very high, which is why it is worthwhile to obtain comprehensive information as a witness before a possible false testimony in court.

Reasons for a false statement - an overview

There are many reasons for giving false testimony, including but not limited to:

  • Personal reasons (e.g. protection of a family member)
  • Time reasons (e.g. rescheduling of the court hearing, the longer it was in the past, the worse the actual memories may be)
  • Falsified perception (e.g. if the witness did not hear the incident himself, but only through stories)

A witness has an obligation to always tell the truth. This means that you are allowed to take part in the disputed incident leave nothing out or add anything.

How can a false statement come about?

If you are summoned to testify in court as a witness, it is quite often the case that events that took place in the past cannot be truthfully reconstructed. The problem is that there are usually several months or even several years between the incident and the actual trial, such as when a criminal case is reopened.

If you then no longer correctly remember what happened, you are obliged to report this to the court. Under no circumstances should you try to reconstruct the incident yourself, because then you quickly fall into the trap of false statements.

False Testimony Or Perjury: What's the Difference?

In the legal field, a false statement is distinguished as follows:

  • False unofficial testimony or false testimony
  • Perjury or false oath

It is a criminal offense to make a false, insulting statement, or in short, a false statement. This is regulated in Section 153 Criminal Code (StGB). This includes an untruthful, unofficial testimony in front of a court or another body responsible for the sworn examination of witnesses or experts.

The perjury or a false oath, on the other hand, is punishable as a crime and is subject to a much higher penalty than the false, insolent testimony. The prerequisite for a testimony under oath is that the witness has made an unofficial false testimony and confirms it under oath.

Consequences of a false testimony in court

The penalty for giving false testimony is high, because a judgment can crucially depend on the testimony of witnesses. If the punishment is interpreted according to § 153 StGB, a prison sentence of three months to five years must be expected. A fine is not possible here. If, on the other hand, one makes a false statement according to § 160 StGB, i.e. an induction to perjury, a prison sentence of up to six months or a fine can be expected. Perjury, in turn, is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to one year.

How can you avoid false statements?

A false testimony is not a trivial offense, but a criminal offense. And the penalty for making a false statement is high. It is all the more important to be in front of a Prepare statement so as not to get into such a situation in the first place.

This can be done to avoid false testimony as a witness:

  • Tell the truth
  • Use a criminal defense attorney at an early stage (allegation can possibly be eliminated or legal consequences can be reduced considerably)

Take note of this Preventive measures, as a rule, you do not come into conflict with the court. If you have any questions on the subject of false statements in court or if you are specifically stuck in such a case, take advantage of our quick and uncomplicated initial consultation. We will find you the right lawyer.

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Article legally checked by the KLUGO editorial team

The article was created with great care by the KLUGO editorial team and legally checked. In addition, we supplement our guide with valuable tips directly from the experts: Our specialized partner lawyers show what is important on the respective topic.
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