The terms affidavit and declaration can be confusing to understand, and most of the time, they are used interchangeably. However, these documents are different but can be used in almost the same situations in court proceedings.
Declarations and affidavits are also commonly used in business transactions. A declaration is a plaintiff’s written explanation taken against a defendant. It is sometimes called a ‘sworn statement’ under the penalty of perjury. On the other hand, an affidavit is a written sworn statement by the affiant based on their knowledge. Read on to learn the difference between an affidavit and a declaration.
What is an Affidavit?
An affidavit is a written statement by someone (an affiant) confirmed under oath. In other words, the affiant must swear that the information stated in the document is accurate based on their knowledge.
But the document is usually signed before a notary public so that when the court finds that the information shared was false, legal action is taken against the affiant. Please note that an affidavit is written by the affiant voluntarily and without cross-examination and can be used in court proceedings.
An affidavit can be accepted as evidence in a court of law. However, it is discarded if it contradicts the affiant’s testimony in a previous deposition. Since oaths are often involved, persons making affidavits must understand the binding nature of the oath and provide only accurate information.
No rumors or personal opinions should be written in an affidavit, but rather facts based on substantiated knowledge. So if you don’t have facts or accurate information about a subject in question, don’t create an affidavit.
What is a Declaration?
A declaration is a statement from a plaintiff outlining how a specific action happened. For instance, a plaintiff can write a declaration to submit factual evidence about an incident when the defendant caused harm to them or damaged their property.
The person who writes the declaration is called the ‘declarant’ and should not lie in the document. Like in affidavits, if the declarant lies, they may be guilty of perjury. Declarations are mainly used as evidence in court when parties to a case are not allowed to testify verbally before the judge.
The Difference Between an Affidavit and a Declaration
The main difference between an affidavit and a declaration is that an affidavit must be notarized, while the latter does not need notarized. An affidavit is authenticated via the author’s signature, which is made before a notary public or commissioner of oaths. On the other hand, declarations are not formally sworn before a commissioner of oaths or notary public.
You must know that the affidavit and a declaration should be created with factual information. If you lie in the documents, you will be misleading the court or other institutions; hence legal action will be taken against you.
If you want to create an affidavit or declaration easily, Forms. legal can help. We provide affidavits and declaration form templates for different states. All you need is to complete the form, download and print it for signing.