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Will Amber Heard go to Jail if She Loses the Defamation Case Filed by Johnny Depp?

The fierce legal battle between “Aquaman” star Amber Heard and “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Johnny Depp went through several ups and downs. Court proceedings resumed today after a week-long hiatus.


Court has already heard Amber’s harrowing testimony. As the case reaches its final hearing on May 27th, fans are wondering if Amber will face a jail term if she loses. Read on to know the legal situation.

It’s a Civil Trial, Not a Criminal…

The defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard includes a lawsuit filed by the 58-year-old star against his ex-wife for $50m over an article she wrote in The Washington Post in 2018, in which she described Depp as a “wife-beater”.

The New York Post reported that a source close to Heard’s team stated, “The jury is going to determine damages for both the claim and the counterclaim.” However, there is a possibility that jurors would not award damages to either party. 
As for the question of whether Amber will be jailed or not, it is pertinent to mention since this is a civil case, so no one will face criminal charges or prison. However, given a hypothetical situation, Depp, who had gained public support as the trial began, wins this defamation case against Heard, then he would be awarded a “substantial amount of money”.
In this civil suit, Depp is suing Heard for defamation – the act of damaging someone’s reputation. The burden of proof is also lighter in a civil case. In a criminal case, the defendant’s guilt must be proven “beyond reasonable doubt”, whereas in a civil case the jury simply has to decide which side of the dispute they believe to be more likely.

Will Amber face a Jail Term?

No, Amber Heard will not face a jail term as this is a civil case. However, there are certain penalties for tampering with evidence. As per the Virginian law, tampering with evidence can be charged as a misdemeanour or a felony.
If you are charged with a misdemeanour or felony offense in Virginia, you face harsh punishments and could have a permanent criminal record if convicted. A conviction may include:
  • Jail up to one year for a state misdemeanour conviction.
  • State prison for up to 20 years for felony tampering with evidence.
  • You may be ordered to pay as much as $10,000 on a state conviction.
  • Federal sentencing may include fines and up to 20 years in prison.

Amber’s testimony includes moulded facts about the incident which took place with Depp. He previously testified that Amber severed his finger. Johnny claimed that Heard threw a liquor bottle at home which severed it. Heard stated in her testimony that she did not even see Depp’s fingertip being cut off.

While Johnny Depp continues to lose his roles in Hollywood, Amber Heard is allegedly been hired as Mera in an upcoming Justice League flick. Amber Heard is continuing her testimony today with further allegations against Johnny Depp. Let’s see what the verdict holds. What do you think?

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.


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