As a proxy or stand-in for a physical witness, an affidavit of fact is used in court as sworn testimony to a specific fact. Affidavits of fact are used in cases such as those concerning citizenship, birth, witness testimony, release of liabilities and proof of service. They are legal and binding, and are usually validated by a notary seal.
The affidavit of fact is a legal document that allows you to swear to facts as you see them, and contains evidence that will hold up in a court of law. Once notarized, the affidavit of fact is your sworn statement. You could have a legal problem if you changed your statement after signing an affidavit of fact.
An affidavit of fact is useful if appearing in court could be dangerous for you. The document speaks on your behalf. Also, if you are unable to provide valid proof of your whereabouts or involvement or non-involvement in a situation, such as if you need an alibi, a reliable witness can vouch for you using an affidavit of fact.
You don't need an attorney present when you sign an affidavit of fact, but it is advisable. When signing before a Notary Public, bring all of the documents that you want to have notarized and have them all stamped at the same time.
Once you sign an affidavit, you could face a penalty if you renege on your original statement at a later time. For instance, if you state on an affidavit of fact that you did not receive a document, and later it comes to light that you did, it is considered perjury. Perjury is a crime.
Additional Business Uses
In some industries, affidavits of fact are for verification of qualifications, such as in the contracting business. An affidavit in that instance is used to determine whether an independent contractor is required to be covered under a homeowner's insurance policy.
Graduating from Capella University with a Ph.D. in organizational management, Michelle McGriff has been writing professionally for over 15 years. A fiction novelist and part-time content editor, she contributed to the nonfiction writer's guide, "You're Published, Now What?" McGriff is also working to complete a series of nonfiction e-books.