treason

Definition

The offense of betraying one’s own country by attempting to overthrow the government through waging war against the state or materially aiding its enemies. Also termed high treason; alta proditio.

According to the United States Constitution, Article III, § 3, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

Under federal statute, a person guilty of treason against the United States “shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.” 18 U.S.C. § 2381.