Greatly appreciate the education! Question though, on the word "aggravated" - I understand that for assaults it can mean assault with a weapon, but aggravated perjury? Would that be waving a knife around on the witness stand yelling, "I didn't do it! I didn't do it! Well, okay, I really did..."?
Correct. If you tell a lie while under oath and you are carrying a gun, driving a car, or pouring poison into someone's mouth, that makes it aggravated.
Great question, and one that actually comes up occasionally here at the office, so here's the difference between "regular" and aggravated perjury:
"Regular' perjury is when a person, "with intent to deceive and with knowledge of the statement's meaning," makes a false statement under oath or swears to the truth of a false statement previously made and "the statement is required or authorized by law to be made under oath." Penal Code 37.02.
Example: swearing to the truth of your tax form or college application.
Aggravated perjury is when you give a false statement while under oath during an official proceeding and that false statement is material. "Material" means "it could have affected the course or outcome of the official proceeding." Penal Code 37.04.
Example: lying while under oath in a trial, or while giving grand jury testimony. But note that if you lie about your age and it's not relevant to the case, this would not be aggravated perjury because it's not "material."