Montana Code Annotated 2019



Part 2. Perjury and Other Falsification in Official Matters


45-7-201. Perjury. (1) A person commits the offense of perjury if in any official proceeding the person knowingly makes a false statement under oath or equivalent affirmation or swears or affirms the truth of a statement previously made when the statement is material.

(2) A person convicted of perjury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for any term not to exceed 10 years or be punished by a fine of not more than $50,000, or both.

(3) Falsification is material, regardless of the admissibility of the statement under rules of evidence, if it could have affected the course or outcome of the proceeding. It is no defense that the declarant mistakenly believed the falsification to be immaterial. Whether a falsification is material in a given factual situation is a question of law.

(4) It is not a defense to prosecution under this section that the oath or affirmation was administered or taken in an irregular manner or that the declarant was not competent to make the statement. A document purporting to be made upon oath or affirmation at any time when the offender presents it as being so verified must be considered to have been sworn or affirmed.

(5) A person may not be guilty of an offense under this section if the person retracted the falsification in the course of the proceeding in which it was made before it became manifest that the falsification was or would be exposed and before the falsification substantially affected the proceeding.

(6) When the defendant made inconsistent statements under oath or equivalent affirmation, both having been made within the period of the statute of limitations, the prosecution may proceed by setting forth the inconsistent statements in a single count alleging in the alternative that one or the other was false and not believed by the defendant. In that case, it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove which statement was false but only that one or the other was false and not believed by the defendant to be true.

(7) A person may not be convicted of an offense under this section when proof of falsity rests solely upon the testimony of a single person other than the defendant.

History: En. 94-7-202 by Sec. 1, Ch. 513, L. 1973; R.C.M. 1947, 94-7-202; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 198, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 1679, Ch. 56, L. 2009.