What Is a Legal Affidavit?

A legal affidavit is a printed or written statement prepared and signed by a witness or party before a court of law or some other authority that possesses the power to witness an oath. An affidavit has specific features and details that must be present, and must be in a form that is accepted by legal clerks, attorneys and prosecutors. Affidavits filed in court must be served to all parties.

Anyone can prepare an affidavit, but it is imperative to seek legal help. The affiant, which is the person who is sworn to making the statement on an affidavit, starts off the statement by writing his or her name, occupation and address followed by the facts of the situation. The signature block is usually at the right of the foot of the affidavit. When writing the affidavit, the affiant must include all the vital facts relevant to his or her case. The affidavit should support the orders made in the court application. It should not be lengthy; it should be concise enough to ensure all the necessary facts are included.

The affiant only signs the affidavit in the presence of an authorized person, such as an attorney. Before signing the affidavit, it is critical to read the statements and understand them properly. Affidavits are regarded as evidence in court and are known to carry more weight than the testimony of a witness.