I need a sample letter of asking a judge for leniency when he is sentencing a formal student for chrimal charges. I serve on the local school board and have know this formal student for many years. I know her to be of good character and the crime committed is the first and is out of character for this person. She is the mother of two children and have always supported not only her children but others children in the class as well.
State/Country relating to question: Florida
Good afternoon,I'm sorry to hear of your friend's dilemma.Before you go to the trouble of writing a letter to the judge, which might not even be read before sentencing, you should contact the former student's attorney and determine whether it is even appropriate. In many courts such letters are ignored. In other jurisdictions, and depending on the judge, you may be allowed to speak in court on behalf of the defendant before sentence is passed. When you appear in court to support the defendant your words are more likely to have a beneficial effect. Given your position in the community as a school board member, your words may carry significant weight if given in person.I wish you well.
The lawyer has asked for the letter. Could you assist with a sample letter
Just checking to see if someone is working on a response
Good afternoon,Here is a basic format you might use:
The Honorable Judge John Doe
Judge of The Superior Court
County of Chatham
State of Georgia
Dear Judge Doe:
I am writing this letter on behalf of a former student of mine who is presently before you on criminal charges and is due to be sentenced shortly. I am XXXXX XXXXX and I am a member of the school board in Chatham County, Georgia. I have known Susan both personally and professionally for a period of 20 years.
Susan has a productive future ahead of her. (Describe here her accomplishments of the past, especially civic duties, volunteer positions. Explain why you believe that it would be in the best interest of both Susan, as well as the community she resides in as well, that she be granted probation or a reduced sentence.) I believe that both society, as well as Susan, would be better served by the imposition of a period of probation, along with court ordered service to her community; this will better assist her in becoming a more responsible, productive citizen than would any extended period of incarceration.
I was shocked and disappointed in her behavior as she has always been a good, law abiding person. This incident is very unlike Susan's character as I have known it for years.
Judge Doe, I am respectfully XXXXX XXXXX mercy of this Court when Susan is sentenced. I pray that you will give heartfelt consideration in making that decision and that you will take into consideration all of the good that Susan has accomplished in her life; as well as all that she can give back to society if given a second chance.
Thank you in advance for your time and for your consideration.
I trust that this format will be of assistance to you. Feel free to add any fact that might be persuasive in obtaining leniency for your friend.
I wish you the best.
27+ years legal experience
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).