Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
The offence of perjury consists of deliberately giving false testimony in a judicial proceeding. In Queensland perjury is codified in Section 123 of the Criminal Code 1899. If a person has been lawfully sworn in as a witness and knowingly make a false statement that could affect the result of the proceeding, they can be charged with perjury. This is the case whether the person is an adult or a juvenile. Perjury is a very serious offence as it can undermine the integrity of the judicial system and result in miscarriages of justice.
The offence of perjury
Perjury can be oral or written and can occur regardless of the form of oath or affirmation the witness took. For the purposes of establishing that perjury has been committed it is irrelevant whether the witness was a competent witness and whether the statements made were admissible or not.
A judicial proceeding includes an investigative proceeding such as those undertaken by the Queensland Crime Commission (QCC).
What are the elements of perjury?
For a court to find a person guilty of perjury, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- They were lawfully sworn in as a witness;
- The accused made the statement wilfully (as opposed to by mistake);
- The statement was false;
- The defendant knew the statement was false;
- The statement was material to the proceedings. In other words, the statement was capable of affecting the decision of the court
Section 123A of the Criminal Code 1899 provides that if a person makes two contradictory statements on oath and the court is unable to determine which of them is false, the court can still find the accused guilty of perjury.
Maximum penalty for perjury
If perjury is committed in order to bring about the conviction of another person for a crime punishable by life imprisonment, then the maximum penalty that applies is imprisonment for life.
In any other case, the maximum for perjury is imprisonment for 14 years (Section 124).
A person cannot be found guilty solely on the testimony of one witness (Section 125).
There are a number of defences that can be advanced in relation to a charge.
Honest but mistaken belief
It is an effective defence if the person genuinely believes the statement to be true or that they answered incorrectly because they misunderstood the question that was being asked. The accused could also run the defence that they gave incorrect information because they had relied on incorrect information by someone else.
Statement was not false
It is an effective defence that the statement made by the accused was not false or that it was true in the literal sense.
Statement was not made under oath
Only a false statement made when a person has been lawfully sworn in as a witness can be the basis for a charge of perjury. An untrue statement made when not under oath is not perjury.
Which court will hear the matter?
Perjury is an indictable offence and is heard in the District Court.
If you need legal advice or representation in any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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