Is It Illegal To Lie In Court Or To The Police?

Though it may be an instinct, it is a crime to lie to the police or mislead the court in Canada. In fact, it can actually lead to criminal charges and other consequences if you knowingly lie or mislead the police or courts. The criminal offences fall under the ‘Misleading Justice’ section of the Criminal Code of Canada.

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Criminal Law

In this post, we’re going to go over a few of the particulars involved in lying to the police, misleading the court, and perjury, to help you better understand the consequences of doing it. Keep reading to find out more.

What Does Ontario/Canadian Law Say About Lying To Police/The Court?

The Criminal Code of Canada has a firm stance on lying to the police and the courts. The offence is named perjury and is defined as when someone makes a false statement under oath or solemn affirmation or makes a false statement by affidavit, solemn declaration, or deposition. In all of these cases, the offender has committed perjury.

While someone may lie to the police or courts, for it to be perjury, the person has to knowingly deceive the court/police. However, if they did not know that their statement was a lie, they cannot be charged with perjury.

What Are The Different Types Of Charges That One Can Face If Caught Lying?

There are a few different ways that you can lie to the court, which means there are a couple of different charges that pertain to lying or misleading the police/court. The charges in question are perjury and fabrication of evidence.

Perjury happens when someone knowingly lies, makes a false statement, or intends to mislead the court. In Canada, this comes with a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison, but there is no minimum penalty. 

Fabricating evidence is another form of misleading the court. In the Criminal Code, fabricating evidence is when someone fabricates anything with the intent that it should be used as evidence in judicial proceedings, whether existing or proposed. Fabricating evidence is an indictable offence in Canada and can result in a prison sentence of up to 14 years as well.

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