Missouri Revised Statutes Title XXXVIII. Crimes and Punishment; Peace Officers and Public Defenders § 575.040. Perjury

1. A person commits the offense of perjury if, with the purpose to deceive, he or she knowingly testifies falsely to any material fact upon oath or affirmation legally administered, in any official proceeding before any court, public body, notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths.

2. A fact is material, regardless of its admissibility under rules of evidence, if it could substantially affect, or did substantially affect, the course or outcome of the cause, matter or proceeding.

3. Knowledge of the materiality of the statement is not an element of this crime, and it is no defense that:

(1) The person mistakenly believed the fact to be immaterial;  or

(2) The person was not competent, for reasons other than mental disability or immaturity, to make the statement.

4. It is a defense to a prosecution under subsection 1 of this section that the person retracted the false statement in the course of the official proceeding in which it was made provided he or she did so before the falsity of the statement was exposed.  Statements made in separate hearings at separate stages of the same proceeding, including but not limited to statements made before a grand jury, at a preliminary hearing, at a deposition or at previous trial, are made in the course of the same proceeding.

5. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of retraction under subsection 4 of this section.

6. The offense of perjury committed in any proceeding not involving a felony charge is a class E felony.

7. The offense of perjury committed in any proceeding involving a felony charge is a class D felony unless:

(1) It is committed during a criminal trial for the purpose of securing the conviction of an accused for any felony except murder, in which case it is a class B felony;  or

(2) It is committed during a criminal trial for the purpose of securing the conviction of an accused for murder, in which case it is a class A felony.


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