Testimony Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Testimony, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Testimony?

The evidence or statement of evidence declared by the witness under the oath, to the court of law where trial was taking place.

History and Meaning of Testimony

Testimony refers to a statement given under oath by a witness in a court of law to provide evidence in a case. The concept of using testimony as evidence in legal proceedings dates back to ancient times, including in the Code of Hammurabi, which allowed for witnesses to be presented in court.

In modern times, testimony is an essential part of the legal process, as it enables the judge or jury to hear firsthand accounts of events from witnesses who have direct knowledge or experience of the situation in question. Testimony is given under oath, meaning that the witness affirms that their statements are truthful and can be punished for perjury if they are found to be lying.

Examples of Testimony

  1. A witness takes the stand and gives testimony in a murder trial to provide evidence about what they saw and heard on the night of the crime.
  2. A person who was involved in a car accident gives testimony in court about their version of events leading up to the crash.
  3. A victim of sexual assault provides testimony about their experience to help ensure that the perpetrator is brought to justice.

Legal Terms Similar to Testimony

  1. Deposition - a process of giving evidence or testimony under oath, but outside of a courtroom setting.
  2. Affidavit - a written statement of fact made under oath, used as evidence in a court of law.
  3. Witness - someone who has information or knowledge of an event or situation and is called upon to provide testimony in court.