Perjury it is a false oath or breach of oath done. It is related to the action or effect of perjuring.
In the legal field, perjury is qualified as a crime for lying before a judge in a court of law, when the witness is committed to telling the truth.
This crime is provided for in Brazilian law in the article 342 of the Criminal Code.
"Art. 342. Make a false statement, or deny or silence the truth as a witness, expert, accountant, translator or interpreter in judicial or administrative proceedings, police investigation, or in arbitration proceedings" (wording according to Law No. 10.268 of August 8, 2001).
As punishment for the crime of perjury, the law determines between one to three years of imprisonment and payment of a fine. However, an increase from one-sixth to one-third of the sentence is also foreseen if the crime was committed through bribery.
But if the accused tells the truth and retracts, before the sentence is issued, the crime of perjury is no longer applied.
The defendant, however, is not punished for the crime of perjury, since according to Brazilian law, the accused of a crime is not required to produce evidence that could incriminate him.
In other countries, such as the United States for example, perjury is a crime also applied to defendants.