As the saying goes: "Do not exclude yourself from money and prison." Every person at any time can appear in court as a witness, a victim and even an accused. In any of these incarnations, he will have to testify - to tell the facts about the court case in which he is a party. Before he starts to do this, he must be warned about the existing criminal liability for distortion of facts and perjury.
Liability for Lies Provided by Law
Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation states that you can refuse to testify in a criminal case. This can be done if you do not want to give them against yourself, your spouse and close relatives. Clause 4 of Article 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation refers to close relatives a spouse, parents, children, adoptive parents and adopted children, siblings, grandfathers, grandmothers and grandchildren. In all other cases, it is your civil duty to assist the court in the investigation of the case. It is assumed that you truthfully and as accurately as possible must state all the facts known to you on the issue of interest to the court.
In the event that you deliberately want to mislead the court, for some reason distorting the truth, this is called perjury and is a criminal offense. Article 307 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation provides for punishment for this act, thereby equating it with a criminal offense.
How Perjury Can Be Punished
The degree of punishment depends on the degree of damage caused by your false testimony. After all, in fact, you interfered with the normal activities of the court, investigation and inquiry bodies to obtain reliable evidence. Your lie became an obstacle to the establishment of the truth and could lead to an unjust court decision, violate not only the interests of justice, but also the individual.
Part 1 of Article 307 provides for punishment for deliberate lies to the investigation in the form of a fine of 80 thousand rubles, other monetary sanctions or forced labor, as well as arrest for up to three months. In case of causing more serious damage to the investigation, the crime is qualified under Part 2 of Article 307, in which case you can be punished with imprisonment for up to five years.
But the law provides for the grounds for releasing persons who gave false testimony from criminal liability. Threats, pressure and intimidation from third parties, other forms of compulsion to this crime can be considered such a basis. In addition, you can be released from liability if, in the future, during the trial, you voluntarily declare that your testimony is false. When sentencing for perjury, the court will take into account your identity, the circumstances of the case at hand, and whether you already have a criminal record. If the criminal record has been removed, the fact will not be taken into account.