Writing a Character Reference for Court: A Comprehensive Guide
As experienced criminal lawyers in Melbourne, we understand the significance of character reference letters for court proceedings. Facing a legal battle due to breaking the law can be an overwhelming and daunting experience for anyone. If you have been asked to write a character reference for someone going to court, your words could make a significant impact on the outcome of the case. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deeper into the process of drafting a compelling character reference for court that not only showcases the individual’s positive attributes but also provides valuable insights into their character and potential for rehabilitation.
The Importance of a Character Reference for court:
A character reference is more than just a letter; it is a testament to an individual’s character, their values, and their actions in the community. When the magistrate or judge reviews this document, they are seeking to gain a comprehensive understanding of the accused as a person, beyond the charges they are facing. As someone who knows the person on a personal level, your perspective can provide invaluable context to the court’s decision-making process. Typically, the best character references come from family or close friends, as they can shed light on the individual’s true character.
Important Tips for Writing a Character Reference for Court:
- Maintain a formal yet genuine tone: Your character reference should be respectful and professional while truthfully reflecting your opinion of the individual.
- Avoid suggesting a penalty: It’s important to note that you should refrain from offering your thoughts on the suitable punishment. The court will make that decision. Avoid suggesting penalties or criticising any party involved in the case.
- Never provide false or misleading information in the character reference.
- Send the character reference to the accused or their representing lawyer, not directly to the court.
- Provide the letter well before the court hearing, allowing the lawyer to assess its usefulness.
This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.
Last updated: 23 July 2023 Article by: Halil Gokler