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NY Penal Law § 210.10: Perjury in the second degree

Perjury involves purposely making false statements under oath. There are several different perjury offenses in the New York criminal code. For example, if you are a witness to a crime and are called to testify at the trial, if you lie while on the witness stand being questioned under oath, then you would have committed perjury. Similarly, if you sign an affidavit in which you knowingly made a false statement, you would have committed perjury. If you are suspected of make a false statement under oath the specific perjury charge that you will face depends on the circumstances under which the false statement was made. Under New York Penal Law § 210.10 you could be charged with perjury in the second degree if you make a false statement

  1. That was in writing where an oath was required to make that written instrument legally valid ;
  2. That was given with the intent to mislead a public servant; and
  3. That was critical to the outcome of the proceeding.

Examples of written statements that are made under oath are depositions made during civil procedures and affidavits.


Alfred De Leo was charged with perjury in the second degree based on false statements that he made in a 1984 real property transfer gains tax affidavit regarding his status as attorney-in-fact for the seller and the amount of consideration received on the transfer of certain realty. Because De Leo's power of attorney had been revoked prior to when the affidavit was executed, De Leo was determined to have lied when he stated that he was the attorney-in-fact for the seller. People v. De Leo, 585 N.Y.S.2d 629 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., 1992)

Jerry Lincoln worked for the New York City Department of Transportation. Lincoln was convicted of perjury in the second degree based on testimony that he issued 6 parking summonses in which he falsified the time of their issuance. However, the conviction was overturned because the prosecutor did not have corroborating testimony of more than one witness that Lincoln has falsified the time on the summonses. People v. Lincoln, 588 N.Y.S.2d 302 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept., 1992)

Related Offenses
  1. Making an apparently sworn false statement in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 210.35
  2. Making a punishable written false statement: New York Penal Law § 210.45

You would not be guilty of perjury if you made a false statement, but then retracted it before it substantially affected the proceeding and before it became obvious that its falsity would be exposed.

Another defense would be that you made a mistake. In other words, if you made a statement under oath that you believed was true but was not in fact true, then you would not have committed perjury.

In order to be guilty of perjury in the second degree, the false statement that you made must have been related to something material to the matter. However, it is not a defense that you mistakenly believed that the matter about which you made the false statement was not material when it fact it was material.


Perjury in the second degree is a class E felony. This means that if you are convicted your sentence could include a prison term of up to 4 years, a probation term of 5 years, and payment of a substantial fine.

New York Penal Law § 210.10: Perjury in the second degree

A person is guilty of perjury in the second degree when he swears falsely and when his false statement is (a) made in a subscribed written instrument for which an oath is required by law, and (b) made with intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his official functions, and (c) material to the action, proceeding or matter involved.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Perjury in the second degree is a serious crime. The penalty for committing this crime is that you could be sent to prison for up to 4 years. If you are under investigation for perjury it is important that you are represented by someone with experience to ensure that your rights are protected. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors in violation of New York state law and federal law. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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