A sworn statement is one that is made under oath, and the person making the statement is swearing that its contents are truthful. It may be in an oral or a written form. This type of statement may be used in various kinds of legal proceedings. The person making the statement understands that they are doing so under penalty of perjury.
Sworn statements may be used in some court proceedings. It is simpler and more efficient for a person to provide evidence in this manner than to appear at a hearing. The court may allow a sworn statement entered into the record as evidence instead.
Alternatively, an individual may appear at the proceeding to provide a sworn statement in person. He or she is required to state that the evidence they are providing is truthful. In the United States, committing perjury is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years. Under Canadian law, the penalty for perjury is a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
An affidavit is another example of a sworn statement. It is a written document signed by an individual, who is known as the deponent. The deponent states his or her full name, address and occupation on the document. The deponent's age may also be included on the affidavit. After this recital, the document lists a series of statements the deponent is declaring are true.
The deponent signs the bottom of the document, which forms his or her sworn statement that the information in the affidavit is true. The document is signed in front of a notary public, and the deponent's name is printed under his or her signature. The notary public also signed the affidavit.
When the sworn statement is in written form, relevant documents may be attached to it. The document being referred to is specifically described in the affidavit and may be called an exhibit. This type of statement may be used to indicate that the document it refers to is authentic.
Another situation where a sworn statement may be required is when a person has been the victim of a crime, such as identity theft or forgery. An affidavit may need to be signed by the victim stating that he or she was not the person who benefited from the forged check or other financial documents. The victim may have to provide this document to receive compensation for his or her loss.