Writing A Character Reference for Court Writing A Character Reference for Court If you are asked to write a character reference letter to a court, the circumstances probably aren't the best. You likely know someone who is facing jail time, and who wants a judge to see character references so that the punishment might be less severe. This is obviously an important task, and one you won't want to take lightly.
Whether you are writing as a victim or on behalf of a defendantit must be written in business-style and in a professional tone in order for the judge to take the letter seriously. Why Write a Letter to a Judge? There are two main reasons someone would write a letter to a judge — one being to ask for something on behalf of someone on trial, such as a reduced sentence or bail.
A victim can write his or her own victim statement as well, which is quite impactful since he or she is the person most closely affected by the came.
If a family member or friend of the victim writes the letter, include statements regarding how others around the victim have been affected.
How to Write in a Professional Tone The best way to write a letter to a judge is in business style, which is a formal way of structuring your message outlined below. In addition to following a business style structure, you should write the letter in a professional tone to ensure the judge will take your letter seriously.
Write in the language you are fluent in, whether or not that is English. This will help you get your ideas across accurately and clearly, rather than writing in a language you are not entirely comfortable with. There will be someone available to the judge to translate your letter.
If you choose to type the letter on a computer, get it printed on high-quality stationary or cardstock, not regular printer paper. If you choose to write the letter by hand, again — use high-quality paper and stay away from lined paper.
Addressing the Letter Start with the envelope, writing to the judge in this format: Follow the order of this format, leaving a space in between each section: If you are unsure, you can look up this information on the Federal Judicial Center website.
Body Copy After addressing the letter, you will start by clearly stating who you are — your first and last name — as well as your occupation and your state of residence. If you are well known in your community, your family name or place of work might make you more reputable in the eyes of the judge.
Next, express exactly why you are writing. Then, state specifically what you want the outcome to be. If you are a victim or writing on behalf of one, you can write about how the crime has affected the victim physically, emotionally, or socially.
If you are a defendant writing your own letter requesting leniency, you should include in the letter that you accept responsibility and explain what you will do to change your life. The letter should be no longer than one page.
Proofreading You do not have to be a professional writer to draft a clear, concise, and accurate letter.
However, the best way to write a letter to a judge is to pay very close attention to detail while writing, ensuring you run the letter through a grammar checker we recommend Grammarly and spelling checker to remove errors.
But remember, grammar and spelling checkers are not fool-proof, so proofread your letter a couple of times before finalizing it. If you have information about a case that has not been presented to the authorities, you are responsible for contacting the police and turning over the evidence.
If you are a victim and need help communicating your story, here is our guide on How to Write a Compelling Victim Impact Statement.
More On This Topic.For example as a crime victim or victim advocate you may want to write a letter to the judge in the criminal court case. You may request the judge to increase or reduce a person’s bail.
So you need to write letters to the judge to make your interest or request known to the judge. · Take your writing to the next level. Grammarly's free writing app makes sure everything you type is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free. In my experience, a letter like this is necessary if you have to give a character reference for someone.
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