declaration under penalty of perjury

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Declaration under penalty of perjury is a statement of facts or testimony accompanied by the declaration that the person making the statement will be found guilty of perjury if the facts declared in the statement are shown to be untrue. A person will be guilty of perjury if they submit false testimony to the court, either orally or in writing, and the false testimony is material to the matters before the court. The person must have acted with knowledge that the testimony was false. 

A declaration under penalty of perjury typically follows such language: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct.”

A declaration made under penalty of a perjury can be a signed written statement, such as an affidavit. Such a written statement need not be verified by oath or affirmation orally before the court if it contains the signed declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury. The person presenting the statement submits themselves to be being charged with perjury and subject to the penalties assessed against a person found guilty of perjury if the statement is false. A declaration made under the penalties of perjury carries the same force and consequences as a sworn statement submitted under oath. 

See: 28 U.S.C. § 1746

[Last updated in September of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]