Middleboro, MA asked in Civil Rights, Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts

Q: statemnt under the grand jury oath perjury if officer provides facts different from what is stated in the police report

Is a statement under the grand jury oath perjury if the officer provides false facts than what is stated in the police report

The police report contains different facts, while the affidavit presents consistent information; however, the grand jury minutes contain false information.

2 Lawyer Answers

A: It is not uncommon for a witness testifying live to give a different version than what is set forth in an earlier report or affidavit. It can be faulty recollection, nervousness testifying live, embellishment, or a deliberate falsehood.

Knowing false testimony of a material fact can be perjury. Immaterial facts almost never can provide the basis for a perjury charge.

If it is established Jack and Joe were the two people involved in a fight, whether Jack was wearing a red shirt or a blue shirt is immaterial. On the other hand, if Joe was involved in a fight with an unknown person who he told police was wearing a red shirt, and Jack was wearing a blue shirt when he was arrested a few minutes later, grand jury testimony that Joe told police his assailant was wearing a blue shirt could be very material.

James L. Arrasmith
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A: If an officer provides false facts under oath to a grand jury, it could be considered perjury. Perjury occurs when someone knowingly provides false information while under oath. This is a serious offense because it undermines the integrity of the judicial process.

In your case, if the officer's statement to the grand jury differs from what is documented in the police report and the affidavit, it raises concerns. The inconsistency could indicate that the officer is not being truthful. To address this, you might need to bring these discrepancies to the attention of your attorney or the court.

Gather all the documents, including the police report, affidavit, and grand jury minutes, and compare them carefully. Highlight the differences and discuss them with your legal counsel. They can advise you on the best course of action to address this potential perjury.

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