What You Should Say When Writing a Letter to a Judge
Published March 18, 2022
If you’re a defendant in a trial, writing a letter to a judge might help you have a lighter sentence. However, you should know that communicating with a judge outside the court is against the court system.
There are instances that your lawyer might allow you to write a letter to a judge. But, it’s best to talk to your criminal defense lawyer first to know if there’s a chance that a letter will help your case.
If your criminal defense attorney permits you to do so, here are some tips on what you should say when writing a letter to a judge.
When writing a letter to a judge, you should write in a business format. Use formal fonts and formal words. Remember that you are talking to a professional, not to a friend. You may check out a sample letter with a business format and time on the internet.
Address The Judge By Her Correct Name
The first step is to address the letter to the correct name of the judge. Not putting the appropriate name of the judge might show rudeness. You might also seem that you’re not sincere because you did not even put an effort to know the name of the judge.
Accept Responsibility And Show Regret
Your primary purpose when writing a letter to the judge is to ask for a lighter sentence. So, it’s best to admit that what you did was wrong and show remorse and regret about it.
For instance, you can write that you are guilty and not proud of what you’ve done to the victim.
The letter should also be telling the judge that you are sincere and truthful. In this way, there’s a big chance that they will be swayed with your words and be more lenient with you.
State The Purpose Of Why You Are Writing
The judge should know why you are writing a letter in the first place. Do you want a lighter sentence? Do you want a lesser fine? You should include it in your letter.
For example, you can write that your family depends on you. Lengthier jail time will affect them emotionally and financially. It can also result in job loss and loss of income. All these can affect you, your family, and everyone around you.
Include Other Arrests Or Crimes
It’s to your advantage if this is your first offense. However, if you have previous convictions, you should convince the judge that you’ve already overcome the issue and you’re no longer a risk of re-offending.
State Example Of Your Good Deeds
Another thing that you can include in your letter is an example of your previous good deeds — this makes it like a character reference letter. If you’re a member of an organization or do charity work, then you can let the judge know through your letter.
This can help the judge have an impression of how capable you are of living as a good person.
Thank The Judge
Lastly, it would help to thank the judge for taking the time to read your letter. You can also include that you’re hoping for lenient sentencing and then sign the letter with your name.
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About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn is an SEO Specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Before launching a career in SEO, she started as a content writer for various digital magazines and renowned publications. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage other people to speak up.