Aggravated Perjury: Texas Penal Code §37.03

Texas Criminal Law

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The Texas Aggravated Perjury law gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you committed Perjury during an official proceeding and the false statement was important to the proceeding.

In order to be charged with Aggravated Perjury, the state has to believe you committed the base offense of Perjury, as defined in Section 37.02 of the Texas Penal Code. The underlying offense of Perjury makes it illegal to purposefully make untruthful statements when you have sworn to tell the truth

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The Texas legislature codified this criminal offense in Texas Penal Code Section 37.03. The legislature did not update this law in 2023. In fact, this law has not been amended since 1993.

The Penal Code codifies the Texas Aggravated Perjury law under Title 8 “Offenses Against Public Administration,” Chapter 37 “Perjury and Other Falsifications.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Aggravated Perjury below.

What is the current Texas law about Aggravated Perjury?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Aggravated Perjury in Penal Code Section §37.03 as follows:[1]

(a) A person commits an offense if he commits perjury as defined in Section 37.02, and the false statement:

(1) is made during or in connection with an official proceeding; and

(2) is material.

How can I be charged with an Aggravated Perjury offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Aggravated Perjury in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 37.03(a) as described in the section above have been met. This is the offense that you might be threatened for prosecution with if the state’s attorneys think you are going to lie while testifying at trial.

What is the statute of limitation for Aggravated Perjury in Texas?

Aggravated Perjury offenses have a three-year limitations period.[2]

What is the penalty for a Texas Aggravated Perjury offense?

A conviction for Aggravated Perjury in Texas is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,[3] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years. Judges have been known to sentence people to the upper end of that range.[4]

Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors here.

Can you get probation for Aggravated Perjury in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Aggravated Perjury, and judges are also allowed to accept deferred adjudication plea deals.[5]

What level of crime is Aggravated Perjury in Texas?

The Penal Code classifies Aggravated Perjury as a third degree felony.

Learn more about the penalty range for this offense in the section above.

^1. Texas Penal Code §37.03. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(9). Also see Code of Criminal Procedure 12.03(d)^3. Texas Penal Code §37.03(b)^4. “County man gets 8 years for perjury”, by Paul Stone, Retrieved May 13, 2011 from the Palestine Herald-Press^5. See Chapter 42, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42A.054, Art. 42A.056, Art. 42A.102 .^9. d2.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>”County man gets 8 years for perjury”, by Paul Stone, Retrieved May 13, 2011 from the Palestine Herald-Press

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