What is an Affidavit? an Overview of How it Works in Los Angeles Legal System
Understanding Affidavits: A Key Role in Legal Protection2 min read
Affidavits can be intimidating, but taking the time to understand how they work can play a key role in protecting yourself in various legal situations. Affidavits are written documents in which you ‘swear’ that what you are saying is true to the best of your knowledge. An affidavit has the same value as oral testimony given in court. While preparing a legal affidavit, it is important to consider the laws of the state and whether it will be honored by the courts of Los Angeles. An effective affidavit needs to be composed according to the local codes and regulations, otherwise it may be rejected or have its credibility be questioned.
The purpose of an affidavit is to provide visual and written evidence in courts of law ruling on matters related to personal, civil, or criminal cases. An affidavit is generally relied upon to certify the legitimacy or accuracy of a statistic, fact, legal proceeding, or a statement made by a person. It is also used in lieu of, and equivalent to, sworn testimony. When signing an affidavit, one swears under penalty of perjury that the content is truthful, making it necessary to be prepared carefully and precisely. As such, they are often as detailed as possible and are signed in the presence of an impartial witness.
In real estate, affidavits are commonly used when transferring a deed. These affidavits must state the acts the claimant is entitled to do, such as to sign the deed as a trustee. This form of affidavit may be recorded in certain counties where the claim is deed, and it may also be used to establish the ownership of any property in question. It acts as a formal acknowledgment of the trust aforesaid, and many courts will accept it as admissible evidence at trial.
In Los Angeles, the court can accept affidavits as evidence in cases where a witness is otherwise unavailable. It is often used when a witness is deceased, has moved or otherwise become unavailable. The affidavit must include proof that the witness can’t be present to give a testimony. Furthermore, the witness should be knowledgeable in the facts of the case. Additionally, a certificate of truth can also be added to an affidavit to make it more reliable in the eyes of the court.
In Los Angeles, a notary public must be present when an affidavit is signed for it to be legally binding. UpCounsel's experienced local business lawyers are skilled in crafting a legally binding affidavit that can hold up as evidence in court. Affidavits are complicated documents which require precision and accuracy. As such, it is important to seek help from a trusted legal expert to make sure it is done correctly, if one is unsure. Our online legal experts are always available to answer questions and provide high quality, cost-effective legal services.