Contact us whenever you need it!

+1 855 997 0206

Mon-Fri 8am - 5pm ET

LEGAL DICTIONARY

Under Oath

Being under oath is an important part of many courtroom or legal processes. Sworn testimonies are used to demonstrate truthfulness and are an essential tool when completing a number of vital proceedings.

Whilst you’ve probably heard the term “under oath” before in crime shows or in the news it is crucial to understand the seriousness of a sworn testimony when it is given. If you are ever called upon to testify in court or to make a sworn declaration of any kind this could prove significant.

What Does Being Under Oath Mean?

Being under oath is a promise to tell the entire truth no matter what during a legal process. The most common oath used in the majority of proceedings includes an affirmation to “tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.

The most meaningful part of being under oath is that you are held legally responsible for any information you provide under the deposition. Any details that are given falsely can have significant legal consequences for you.

When Are You Considered Under Oath?

Most people associate being under oath with courtroom proceedings and spoken sworn testimonies. However, it is also possible to be considered under oath after signing a sworn written deposition such as an affidavit.

Whether your statement is written or spoken, if you affirm the information before an appropriate legal authority you will be considered under oath. You will then be legally bound by the testimony given.

Who Can Administer an Oath

Not everyone can administer an oath. This is a privilege reserved only for a few public servants. The following legal authorities may oversee and authorize the taking of an oath for sworn testimony:

  • Judges
  • Notaries
  • Justices of the Peace
  • Clerks of the Court
  • Court Commissioners

What Happens if You Lie Under Oath?

Lying under oath is a serious legal offense. If you lie when testifying under oath or are caught making false statements on an affidavit you can be charged with perjury.

Perjury is serious a federal crime and can be punishable with the following sentences:

  • Probation
  • Fines
  • Jail time of up to 5 years

Jail time is usually only given in the most serious of cases. However, a perjury record can have long-lasting consequences should you ever need to make sworn statements in the future. In all situations, the advantages to lying under oath are nowhere near as significant as the disadvantages of doing so.

Being under oath is an important part of many courtroom or legal processes. Sworn testimonies are used to demonstrate truthfulness and are an essential tool when completing a number of vital proceedings.

Whilst you’ve probably heard the term “under oath” before in crime shows or in the news it is crucial to understand the seriousness of a sworn testimony when it is given. If you are ever called upon to testify in court or to make a sworn declaration of any kind this could prove significant.

What Does Being Under Oath Mean?

Being under oath is a promise to tell the entire truth no matter what during a legal process. The most common oath used in the majority of proceedings includes an affirmation to “tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.

The most meaningful part of being under oath is that you are held legally responsible for any information you provide under the deposition. Any details that are given falsely can have significant legal consequences for you.

When Are You Considered Under Oath?

Most people associate being under oath with courtroom proceedings and spoken sworn testimonies. However, it is also possible to be considered under oath after signing a sworn written deposition such as an affidavit.

Whether your statement is written or spoken, if you affirm the information before an appropriate legal authority you will be considered under oath. You will then be legally bound by the testimony given.

Who Can Administer an Oath

Not everyone can administer an oath. This is a privilege reserved only for a few public servants. The following legal authorities may oversee and authorize the taking of an oath for sworn testimony:

  • Judges
  • Notaries
  • Justices of the Peace
  • Clerks of the Court
  • Court Commissioners

What Happens if You Lie Under Oath?

Lying under oath is a serious legal offense. If you lie when testifying under oath or are caught making false statements on an affidavit you can be charged with perjury.

Perjury is serious a federal crime and can be punishable with the following sentences:

  • Probation
  • Fines
  • Jail time of up to 5 years

Jail time is usually only given in the most serious of cases. However, a perjury record can have long-lasting consequences should you ever need to make sworn statements in the future. In all situations, the advantages to lying under oath are nowhere near as significant as the disadvantages of doing so.