What is an affidavit?

By | May 13, 2008

An affidavit is a simple statement of fact sworn to by the person signing it. Affidavits are used under many circumstances when a person wishes to give their testimony of truth to another party.

If someone is a witness or has pertinent information to share in a court action, but cannot be present for a hearing or trial, an affidavit is the appropriate way to introduce testimony. The affidavit form simply lists the witness’ name, address, connection to the matter at hand, and their recital of the facts pertaining to those circumstances. It is rarely a long document, usually only two to three pages in most instances, and only a statement of fact. It rarely touches on opinion unless a qualified professional in the area of their expertise gives the affidavit. The court will respect the affidavit as fact in the same manner as if the witness were physically present to testify to the same. An affidavit must written or given by the witness “under oath” and signed in the presence of a notary public, making it valid and respected as truthful. A properly executed affidavit can even be admissible as factual testimony in a court of law after a person’s death. However, it is important to remember that a legal affidavit permissible in the United States, might not be accepted in foreign countries, and vice versa, so it is vital to check the laws and regulations if it is to be used out of one’s native land.

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