Do you know someone who has been incarcerated or found themselves on the wrong side of the law? You can always choose to write a letter to the judge requesting leniency on the sentencing. Of course, the letter needs to be professional and address the matter at hand candidly. Well, here’s how to write a letter to a judge and make sure that it actually makes a difference.
• Use a letterhead to set the letter. It makes it appear professional and inviting for the reader to follow through with the contents of the letter. If you’re employed, you should use the letterhead from your workplace.
• Make sure you include a date on the letter. It should be on the top left center and include the right date.
• Use a proper address for the judge and salutation. It should be written below the date and also use the judge’s official name and address. It could be the courthouse where the judge presides. Make sure it’s left-justified and written as any other address on the top part of the letter just below the date. Under the address and name of the judge, write the best salutation. You can address the judge as ‘your honor’ or ‘dear judge’ and include their name.
• Write down the name of the defendant. Write down the first name at the beginning of the letter which can be written in the first sentence or between the salutation and address.
• Write down who you are to the defendant and your profession in the first paragraph. If you’re held in high esteem in your community, don’t be modest about your private or public work. By highlighting these credentials, you will show the judge that the defendant is actually a person with good connections in the community.
• Explain your relationship with the defendant. Here, you should write how long you have known him/her and highlight any positive things in your relationship.
• Next, you should write out a general statement of support. Basically, let the judge know that the defendant has been candid about their legal issues to you or anyone else close to them. It is a positive measure and also mention that you’re ready to assist them when they are released back into the community by offering a job or a place to stay.
• Defend the person’s character by mentioning positive attributes such as love, honesty and courage. If they have a family, you should also mention that the person is a good parent.
• You need to provide any additional information that will be helpful to the defendant and highlight him/her in a good light. Use very informative and concise information.
• Write the conclusion and mention that the defendant understands the legal trouble he/she is in and actually regrets the actions. Also, mention that they have learned from the experience and is ready to move on with their life.
In conclusion, when you’re writing the letter, you need to put the defendant in a positive light and avoid disparaging the character of anyone else involved in the case. It always pays to be sure when it comes to legal matters so if you have any questions in mind about the process of making your letter, never hesitate to ask help from a lawyer.