Legal Maxim

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Literal Meaning

The crime of falsehood




It refers to the crime of deceit. In common law, the crime of deceit is the main element of falsehood and fraud which refers to a fraudulent alteration or forgery to conceal the truth to the prejudice of another.


It includes fraud, forgery, perjury, conspiracy, use of false weights and measurements, fraudulent alteration of writing etc.

Case laws

In the United States of America vs. Robert Nello Brackeen [969 F.2d 827 (9th Cir. 1992)], the Hon’ble Court held that bank robbery is not Crimen Falsi. Court further defined Crimen Falsi as per Black Laws Dictionary “Term generally refers to crimes in the nature of perjury or subornation of perjury, false statement, criminal fraud, embezzlement, false pretense, or any other offense which involves some element of deceitfulness, untruthfulness, or falsification bearing on the witness’ propensity to testify truthfully.”

In Green vs. Bock Laundry Machine [490 US 504 (1989)], Justice Gibbons held that “the mandatory admission feature of prior crimen falsi convictions does not apply to the admissibility of prior felony convictions in civil cases.”

This Maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Navya Sony during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Navya is a final year law student of Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

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