The court’s character reference is to provide a family member, friend, or co-worker with a written comment on the spiritual or mental values of the defendant to the judge. The letter is often given in cases of child custody and/or drunk driving (DUI) but can be used in any necessary situation in which the court can hear about the defendant’s personality and reputation to get the case drawn in their favor.
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What is a Character Letter For Court?
A character letter is a letter written by someone who knows the defendant on behalf of a criminal defendant. The author tries to convince a judge in a character letter to impose a minimal penalty on the defendant by vouching for the good character of the defendant.
A good character letter (or better yet, several good character letters) can reassure a judge that the defendant is a valued member of the community, despite this criminal conviction, who merits leniency in his or her sentencing.
Tips for an Effective Character Letter for a Court
Character letters are written by friends, relatives, employers, and those who know the defendant in criminal trials. Usually, during a sentence, a judge will only authorize a certain number of witnesses to testify about the character of a defendant but will consider almost any number of letters.
A character letter, of course, is only useful if it is well-written and allows the judge to understand a more complete view of the defendant. These tips from CocoSign’s official website will assist your loved ones when they draft character letters to help you.
A strong character letter can be extremely valuable in the case of a defendant. It can be a challenge to write such a letter, particularly for those who are inexperienced in the criminal justice system. Read on to learn more about how a top-notch letter of support can be written.
Tip One: The Stage Setup
As an initial matter, a character letter can only come from people who already know the defendant. It is not persuasive to form character letters. Instead, each writer should begin their character letter by explaining how long they have known the defendant and how they understand the defendant.
Tip Two: Tell a Story
Telling a story about the defendant should be the overall message of a character letter. Think of what more than just a “defendant” makes your friend, family member, or colleague, and how you can express it to the court.
Doing so will affect the judge’s decision and help get a more favorable sentence for your loved one. There are many templates of character letters available at CocoSign. Here’s a good place to get started to write a character letter for court.
Tip Three: Stop the argument from being compromised
To explain how the defendant is not guilty, how this “is not like him,” how the defendant just pleaded guilty to the crime to get a better punishment, or even how the jury got it wrong, is always tempting for a person writing a character letter.
Doing this would not benefit the defendant, and his case could also have a negative effect. Focus instead on telling a story, as mentioned above, about the defendant.
In this way, by explaining to the judge that your loved one might deserve a reduced penalty, you will demonstrate respect for the criminal justice system. You can get an idea about this by using the character letter templates available at CocoSign.
Tip Four: Consult with the Advocate
Before writing a character letter, check in with your loved one’s Lexington attorney for criminal defense. He or she can provide you with basic information, such as how to format the letter. Both letters should be sent to a lawyer, not directly to the court.
CocoSign provides you the best ideas for writing a character letter to a court.
The letters should usually be typed on 8.5 by 11-inch regular paper. Know that the aim is to get the letter to be read by the judge, and the easier you make it for them to read, the better. The only exception is if a child is writing the letter.
Tip Five: Understand a Practical Outcome
At the end of a character letter, most writers make an “ask” of the court. This may be as straightforward as seeking leniency in light of the outstanding past of the defendant. However, in some cases, a letter writer can make a sentencing request.
If at the end of your letter you intend to make a clear “ask”, make sure that you understand the possible sentences for the crime in question.
If you are instructed to write a letter of character to the Court, you should ensure that you handle it with sincerity and care. Be as truthful and straightforward, but still succinct, as you want to.
The character letter that CocoSign produced is very successful. For all kinds of papers, they also provide several other useful and user-friendly models.