An oath is a central part of any testimony in court and is critical to the integrity of the overall legal proceeding. As a sworn statement, an oath obligates a person to tell the truth and confers heavy penalties on those who knowingly and willfully lie while under it. Knowing what an oath is and how it can be used in court can help you make the most effective statement for your personal injury case.
What is a legal oath?
An oath is a promise to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” All three parts of this oath are significant. They essentially mean:
- You will not lie
- You won’t leave anything out
- You won’t try to deceive or mislead anyone
This oath is standard for witnesses in any personal injury case, such as car accident claims and slip and fall claims, but only if the case actually goes to court. If it is settled out of court, in most cases witnesses will not need to be sworn in.
Does a testimony under oath count as admissible evidence in court?
Any witness who will give testimony in a court case will be required to swear an oath first. The courts generally treat any testimony given under oath as admissible evidence, unless there is a clear reason to believe it is false.
As the person who was injured, you will almost certainly be asked to take an oath and give testimony in court. An experienced lawyer can help you give a testimony that communicates the facts of your case.
Does my oath have to be religious?
No. In the United States, there are two different versions of the oath. One is religious and one is not:
- Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
- Do you solemnly affirm that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, under pains and penalties of perjury?
Both oaths are considered equal in the eyes of the law.
What happens if you lie under oath?
Lying under oath, also known as perjury, carries heavy penalties. In Georgia, perjury occurs when someone knowing and willfully makes a false statement during a judicial proceeding. If you are convicted of perjury in Georgia, you could face a fine of $1,000 and anywhere from 1 to 10 years of jail time.
A professional lawyer can help you with your personal injury case
Have you been injured? John Foy & Associates offers a free consultation with some of the most experienced and respected personal injury lawyers in Georgia. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.