False Swearing Law and Legal Definition

False swearing refers to knowingly and intentionally giving a false statement under oath, swearing corruptly, or willfully and knowingly deposing falsely in a sworn statement concerning some fact before an officer authorized to administer an oath. Although the terms false swearing and perjury are often used interchangeably, in the strict legal sense there is a definite difference between them. The main difference is that the false oath in perjury must be made in a judicial proceeding, whereas in false swearing need not be made in such a proceeding. While perjury can be based only on an oath required by law, in false swearing the oath may be made in a voluntary statement or affidavit, and it is not necessary that the purpose of the oath was to influence or mislead anyone. In addition, although perjury requires that the false statement be material, false swearing does not.