The first thing to understand is what an oath is. When it comes to swearing an oath relating to a document, you are using the law to guarantee that what is contained within the document is the truth as far as you are aware.
Examples of documents which are required to be sworn include affidavits and declarations. The law is a very complex field, so there are many words used to describe various types of document. An affidavit is a written statement from an individual who is sworn to be true. This is why you need to swear an oath with a solicitor or a Commissioner for Oaths, who will act as a legal witness to the swearing. An example of an affidavit can be a witness statement for a trial.
Should you decide to use a solicitor to help when you swear an oath, they must be a legally qualified solicitor and not a clerk or a trainee solicitor.
To swear an oath, you are required to hold a copy of the New Testament and declare that the contents of the document are correct. Most sworn documents are used for court purposes, such as in a trial or for the granting of probate for a will.
You have to be very careful when swearing an oath as if you know the information provided in the document you are swearing is untrue; then you are committing the crime of perjury. This is a severe offence, and if found guilty, you will receive a substantial fine, or in the strictest of cases, perjury can lead to imprisonment. If you have any doubts about the validity or truthfulness of the document you are swearing, you should discuss your concerns with the solicitor before continuing to swear the document.
The swearing of an oath with a solicitor should not be confused with the oath you swear when in court. The legal implications of each are identical and to lie when under oath, in either circumstance, is classed as perjury.
However, when in court, you are swearing to the truthfulness of anything you say when asked to provide information or to recount events. The oath does not relate to any written documents, though it may relate to the content of certain documents. For example, you may be asked to confirm if you wrote something on a piece of paper, and that piece of paper is introduced as evidence within a court case.
When swearing an oath with a solicitor, the actual wording of the oath may vary, depending on what is being sworn. In a court of law, the oath you swear will always be the same: “I swear by ………. (according to religious belief) that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
If you have a document that needs to be sworn, here at Qredible.co.uk, we have several solicitors who are highly experienced in the field of swearing oaths.
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