Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (2023)

Updated July 17, 2022

IsCharacter reference for dishconsists in providing the judge with a written statement about the moral or intellectual qualities of the accused to a family member, friend or colleague. The letter is commonly provided in child custody and/or DUI cases, but can be used in any necessary situation where the court needs to know the personality and reputation of the defendant in order to write the case in their favor.

Reference letter for immigration signs– For someone entering the court expressly for immigration purposes.

Table of contents

  • who to choose
  • Video
  • How to write (format)
    • introduction
    • body heels)
    • Diploma
  • Trial 1 - For a DUI
  • Example 2: For family court (custody)
  • Example 3: for a friend (court letter of recommendation)

who to choose

When choosing someone to write a personality testimony, it's important to choose someone who has known you for a long time and who is also respected by the court. For example, it is best if you can get someone in the church, such as a teacher, who has seen you grow as a person to write a good testimony for judgment.

(Video) Official Character Reference Letter for Court - EXPLAINED

drunk driving (DUI)– If you need a referral because of a DUI incident, it may be best if someone, e.g. B. an employer or a close family member says how important it is to them. Also, ask them to write as they need to and that any jail time or suspension of their license puts more weight on other people's shoulders.

care– If you are in the middle of a custody battle or a general family hearing, it is best to choose someone who has seen you with your children. In recent years it has become more common for a psychiatrist to monitor children around the father and write a formal recommendation to the court. In a family litigation, a letter from a psychiatrist has tremendous appeal when the court decides in the best interests of the child.


How to write (format)

The letter should be a simple 1-page document detailing your experience with the recommended person and why you feel you need to provide that reference. Depending on who you are and how the court views you in relation to the case, the judge may or may not influence the use of the letter in his final assessment.


Submission should state who you are, how long you have known the person, and why you feel the need to make that recommendation to the court.

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The main section should be your main argument as to why the recommended person is a person of high moral character. For example, if you are the person's employer, you should state how important they are to the job and ask the judge to show leniency in this case. Or if it's a custody battle, consider asking a family member to write down how much the recommended person's children mean.


The conclusion should summarize the purpose of the letter and he or she should provide his or her contact information (phone and email) in case the court wishes to investigate any of the information suggested in the letter.

(Video) 5 Tips on Writing Character Letters to Influence the Judge in a Criminal Case.

Trial 1 - For a DUI

1 – The headline and introduction

It is important to note that a letter of reference for a DUI defendant is an official document in court. So make sure it looks professional and that your content is what you believe to be true.

First you have to identify yourself. This should be in the top left corner of the page. Enter your name and residential address in the first three lines of this page.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (3)It is also imperative that you state when this letter was written and sent. Skip two lines after your name and address, then enter today's date. In general, the standard is to enter the name of the month and then enter the numeric calendar date and year.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (4)

In some cases, the defendant's DUI attorney may want to include a subject line with the case number or omit the subject entirely. In this example, we assume a more informal subject line. Enter the subject two lines below the date. If you are using this form as a template, enter the defendant's name on the blank line.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (5)

The greeting begins with your actual letter. Again, you must consult the accused or your attorney. 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 two lines below the date.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (6)

2 – The introduction forms the main part of this letter

The introduction should consist of one or two statements. For purposes of this document, these statements must include the DUI defendant's name, your relationship with the DUI defendant, and how long you have known the DUI defendant as such. You might want to add a statement that explains your character in some way.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (7)

3 - The content of the letter should cast a positive light on the accused

The contents of the body serve as a support for the DUI defendant. Finally, the recipients of this letter are likely only aware of the DUI Defendant as a consequence and in connection with the DUI offense. It will correspond to the content of this letter to broaden this perception and to mention some positive qualities to the respondent. Due to the nature of a DUI offense, you should look at the observed causes and effects of the defendant's behavior and see what he or she will do about it. For example, the defendant might have faced some extremely challenging difficulties in his or her professional or personal life, such as: B. the death of a close family member. If the DUI defendant mentioned seeking help for a substance abuse problem, be sure to state that intent. Be sure to also express your belief in the DUI defendant's ability to overcome this event.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (8)

4 – Completing the letter and your signature will solidify your intent

The last paragraph of this letter should repeat the introduction on a slightly more personal note. Be sure to mention (in some way) how you want the recipient to respond to this letter. Remember that ultimately you want to end the letter with an acknowledgment from the accused.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (9)Finally, close this letter with your signature. Write your name under your signature.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (10)

(Video) 6 Common Character Reference Letter Mistakes

Probe 2: for custody of children

1 - Enter the title and salutation

You must identify yourself with your full name and residential address in the upper left corner of the document you are working on. This area should be presented in an envelope-like manner and contain your home address. Enter your full name on the first line, your mailing address on the second line, and your city/state/zip code on the third lineCharacter Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (11)Skip two lines, then enter today's date. That is, the date you are writing this letter.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (12)In some cases, it's a good idea to include a subject line. A simple application stating the name and/or case number of the prospective parent/legal guardian will suffice.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (13)Open the letter with a greeting to the recipient. For our purposes it will be a judge.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (14)

2 – The content of the letter

The introductory paragraph of this letter of recommendation has a specific purpose. Please indicate who you are writing this letter for, how you know the person you are recommending and how long you have known them. Once this task is completed, perform a declaration to recommend that person to take custody of the minor or child in question.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (15)The next paragraph will be the heart of the letter you are writing. Be sure to include your observations that suggest the hopeful parent/guardian will be a positive factor in the minor's or child's life. If there is something parents/guardians are known for in your community that demonstrates their effectiveness as a positive force (e.g. volunteering, memberships, etc.), please mention that as well. There should be at least two or three statements here. Please note that this part of the letter can be of any length. If you have any questions about this content and its scope, you may contact your parent/guardian or your attorney.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (16)

3 - Completion and signing of the letter

The last paragraph should pick up on your first statement and include your desire for this letter to be taken seriously.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (17)Finally, use a standard closing (e.g. Sincerely, Signed, Best wishes, etc.)Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (18)

Example 3 - For a friend

1 - Provide the header information

This is considered official correspondence regardless of the circumstances that prompted you to write this letter. It is important to note that you may be required to sign additional documents or even provide physical statements in court as to the authenticity of these letters. This results in a number of conditions that must be met. The first of these will be a positive and unequivocal identification of the author. This task must be completed in the upper left corner of the first page. Include your full name, residential address, and city, state, and zip code. This should appear like a mailing address on an envelope. Note: Do not use a mailbox. PO Box number, must be a physical address.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (19)The recipient of this letter needs to know when the letter was written. This is especially important when this letter is addressed to a defendant awaiting sentencing. Enter the current date by entering the month, and then enter the two-digit day and four-digit year.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (20)In general, it's a good idea to put the subject of this letter right in the title. The attorney representing the subject matter of this letter may have preferences in this regard, so be sure to consult them. In some cases the format may be last name, first name, case number, while in other cases it may be case number first and in others only case number or first name. In our example we use the full name.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (21)

2 - Document the accused's positive qualities

Once these initial details have been completed, the letter is opened to greet the recipient. Often the person concerned is in a court case and their defense attorney sends this letter directly to the presiding judge. In our example, we assume that the defense attorney has requested a standard generic form of address. The introduction of this letter should contain a few elements. You must identify the respondent as the subject, state how you know the respondent, and how long the relationship has existed. It will also be important to voice your beliefs. For example, after explaining why you are writing this letter, say what you think should happen to the accused. If you are asked to write this to prove someone's innocence, then you should say so clearly. In our example, we will assume that the accused has already been convicted or found guilty, and our goal will be to seek leniency on their behalf.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (22)Next we need to establish the character of the accused. Since the recipient has no idea what the suspect is outside of this case, we need to paint a more complete picture. In the second paragraph, try to define that the accused has some value to the community they are in and its impact on their life. If applicable, mention any strong feelings (e.g. love) you may have for the accused.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (23)

3 - Admit the accused made a mistake and offer support

The third paragraph must acknowledge the defendant's error and, if appropriate, mention steps the defendant took to change his life. Be sure to mention that you believe in this person's ability to do better and comply with the court's decision. It's also a good idea to mention any relevant conversations you had with the accused regarding this turn of events.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (24)

4 - Complete the letter by summarizing and signing the letter

The conclusion should represent the main idea behind the introduction and body of this letter. That is, state specifically your desire for this letter to be viewed as a serious personality reference and what effect you expect it to have.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (25)

(Video) Character Letters can be an important tool for reducing a sentence when charged with a crime.

You must end this letter by using an acceptable conclusion (i.e. sincerely), signing your name, and then printing your name.Character Reference Letter Template (For Court) - Samples (26)


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