“Court testimony” refers to the statements made by witnesses and, when relevant, defendants during the course of a trial. These statements, including prepared comments and answers to questions posed by prosecutors and defense attorneys, are made under oath. As such, court testimony is legally required to be truthful. Statements made by witnesses and others under oath that are subsequently revealed to be false are labeled “perjury.” Individuals found guilty of perjury can be prosecuted for lying while under oath.
In addition to statements made on a witness stand, “court testimony” can include statements made as part of a deposition. Depositions are written and/or oral statements made outside of a courtroom as part of the legal process. Depositions, like witness statements made in court, are given under oath and, therefore, must be truthful. They are generally submitted to the court as legal documents and are considered as part of the evidence used in the trial or other legal proceeding. While they exist as part of the court documentation, they are usually only referenced in the event of a contradiction between a statement made on the witness stand and what is presented in the deposition.