What Should a Good Character Witness Statement Include

The conclusion of your testimony should show how detention will have a negative impact on the accused. It is important to be specific and highlight how detention will affect the family, employment and future life of the accused. Tell the judge how the accused plans to make changes in his or her life and that you believe he or she has learned a valuable lesson. Character witnesses play a crucial secondary role in a variety of criminal and civil trials. Unlike experts or eyewitnesses, character witnesses provide important information about the background and morality of the accused. A lawyer may keep a character witness to tell a particular story that supports the positive narrative built around an accused. Alternatively, a character witness may give a far-reaching introduction to the reliability, honour and decency of the accused. This will be considered official correspondence, regardless of the circumstances that led you to write this letter. It is important to remember that you may need to sign more documents or even physically testify in court about the authenticity of this letter.

Therefore, there will be certain requirements to be met. The first of these will be a positive and clear identification of the author. This task should be performed in the upper left corner of the first page. Provide your full name, residential address, city, state, and zip code. This should appear as a mailing address on an envelope. Note: Do not use a PO Box number, it must be a physical address. The recipient of this letter must know when the letter was written. If this letter is written for an accused awaiting conviction, it will be particularly important. Enter the current date by writing the month and then entering the double-digit calendar day and year. In general, it is a good idea to immediately note the subject of this letter in the title. The lawyer representing the subject of this letter may have preferences in this regard, so be sure to contact them.

In some cases, the format may be the surname, first name, case number, while in other cases it may be the case number first and in other cases, only the case number or surname. In our example, we use the full name. A testimony of good character must be written in a professional manner, as it will be examined by a judge. It must start with the date and include the judge`s name and title. For example: It is often tempting for someone writing a character letter to discuss how the accused is not really guilty, how „not as he is,” how the accused pleaded guilty only to get a better sentence, or even how the jury misunderstood. This will not help the defendant and could even have a negative impact on his case. The welcome begins with your actual letter. Again, you need to consult with the defendant or their lawyer. In this example, we use a formal greeting. The greeting should be placed two lines below the subject line above. If there is no subject line, it should be placed two lines below the date. The conclusion should indicate the basic idea behind the introduction and the main part of this letter.

That is, explicitly state your wish that this letter be understood as a reference of serious character and what impact you hope it will have. You should conclude this letter using an acceptable conclusion (i.e. Sincerely), sign your name, and then print your name. Character letters are written by friends, family members, colleagues and others who know the accused in criminal cases. When pronouncing the verdict, a judge usually only allows a certain number of living witnesses to testify about the nature of an accused, but accepts almost any number of letters. A character letter is intended to show support for a defendant in a criminal case. These letters have the potential to influence the court and can even influence the final verdict in a criminal case. For this reason, character letters should be carefully designed to maximize their usefulness. When choosing a person to write a character reference, it is important to choose someone who has known you for a long time and also someone that the court respects. For example, it`s best if you can ask someone in the community like a teacher who saw you grow up as a person to write a good court reference. The third paragraph should acknowledge the defendant`s error and, if necessary, mention any steps he has taken to change his life. Be sure to mention that you believe in that person`s ability to reform and respect the court`s decision.

It is also a good idea to mention any relevant conversations you may have had with the defendant about this turn of events. Regardless of the scope of the witness`s testimony, he or she is generally required to provide background information and „personality support” relevant to the legal case in question. For example, a witness who has been called upon to support the character of a witness accused of a financial crime may not want to waste time discussing the person`s patronage for animal welfare organizations. Instead, he or she should discuss situations in which the defendant has demonstrated honesty, reliability, and responsibility. While character witnesses must suggest and tell such anecdotes, it is the responsibility of their supervising counsel to shape and reinforce the underlying arguments. The general message of a character message should be to tell a story about the accused. Think about what makes your friend, family member or colleague more than just a „defendant” and how you can bring that to court. This can potentially influence the judge`s decision – and help your loved one get a more favorable sentence.

If there is other supporting information that portrays the defendant in a positive way, you should include it in another paragraph. If the defendant has cared for a sick relative or is a good provider, this information can be used. It is useful to give concrete examples of positive actions they have taken to improve themselves or others. Drunk Driving (DUI) – If you need a referral for an Impaired Driving Incident (DUI), it may be best for someone like an employer or close family to indicate how important you are to them. Also, ask them to write down how you are needed and that any jail sentence or suspension of your license puts more weight on the shoulders of others. .