Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Hello! I am happy to try and help you this morning. I need more information, however. First, is this a state or federal charge?
Good morning, are you still there?
That's ok, glad to see you back! Let me make sure I understand. You need help with a pre-sentence letter to be sent to the judge for your fiancee?
well he gets sentenced next week, so is that consisdred pre setence
Yes it is. Do you have a draft of a letter you have already written?
but yes a leniency letter for him, never been in trouble before, a 1 year old son who just turned one today,
no i dont but i have seen a few a online but non fir under what im looking for/
I understand. Unfortunately, if I were to write a letter for you to sign and send to the judge regarding your fiancee, that probably constitutes the practice of law. Although I am a licensed attorney, I am not authorized to practice law here on this website. However, I have some suggestions.
Make a list of all the best qualities about your fiancee. He is kind, has a brand new child, has been faithful to you, has never been in trouble before, etc.
ok well more so statments to make and good wording im not a goos writer at all
the reason i signed up for this website is because i saw alot of letters written by the experts on justanswer helping others write letters. sorry
Gotcha. Try making a list first. Then create an introductory sentence, such as "Dear Judge (name): I am writing on behalf of my fiancee, (name.) I hope you will consider the following facts about (name) when you sentence him on (date)."
Then list all the facts about your fiancee that talk up the best points about him.
ok and to further explain the gun charges and how he can overcome that
Tell me more about your last sentence...what exactly do you mean?
in alot of letters ive read the person writing the letters explains to the judge how the individual can do better and the crime commited was not a normal. how do i explain a gun charge
Understood. Let me make sure I understand: what exactly is the gun charge? Being a felon in possession of a firearm? Selling an illegal gun? Possession of a stolen gun? Use of a firearm during the commission of a crime?
Or something else (these are the most common)
1st time caught with a gun had a license to carry but around drugs at the time, second time arrested had another gun license was revoked then, third time arrested found two guns ALL three times were under the influence of drugs.also plead as a drug user
Understood. Has he ever been charged with or convicted of distribution of drugs or possession with the intent to distribute?
Sorry for so many questions, I just want to make sure you get the best answer possible!
the first initial accusation against him from the prosecuter was for intent to distubute, when they arested him the took his phones and read through them but between his lawyer and the prosecuter they dropped the charges and ran with the gun charges
I see. Incidentally, that whole "arrest a person and read through their phone without first getting a warrant" is a hot topic now in state and federal law. I have litigated that within the last few months.
Here are some ideas...
Just pick and choose what you think works for you, obviously I'm guessing at some of this.
Your fiancee has struggled with addiction for many years. He is a good person and has always treated you, his son, and his family well. He is not violent. He has not been violent toward anyone in the family. You support him and will continue to support him once he is released from incarceration. The only victim of his crimes is himself. (i.e. a reference to the addiction issue.)
He has expressed remorse to you and a desire to reform and stay out of trouble in the future. He realizes the gravity of his mistakes and how they will impact his family. His absence from the family will be a great hardship on you and his newly born son. You do not want his son to grow up without a loving, caring father.
Is any of this close to what you'
You are looking for
what about the whole gun charge statement? what is something said to make it sound better?
Give me an idea of what you want to say.
idk i just dont understand how he is even in jail for just having guns! he hasnt killed anyone, shot anyone, just has them for proctection. since ive known him he just has a obsession with guns.
Well, leave out the "obsession" part! He is in jail because there are certain federal and state laws which prohibit simple possession of firearms in certain situations. One situation is when the firearm is possessed at the same time illegal drugs are possessed as well.
All of the other things you said are good: he is not violent, has never shot anyone, etc.
I have a suggestion...
If you want to create a rough draft of a letter I will be happy to revise or edit it for you. I just do not feel comfortable creating one for you from scratch, as again, that could be interpreted as practicing law.
If not, and you would rather ask another expert for help, I can opt out of this chat and others may be able to help you.
Which would you prefer?
ok well could you not sign it, just write the information you've already provided me with into the paragraph.
Ok, I'll try, it would take a few minutes, though. And please understand this is not legal advice; we have not formed an attorney-client relationship. Hang on...
Dear Judge (name):
I am writing on behalf of my fiancee, (name). I hope you will consider the following information in determining a just and fair sentence for (name).
I have known (fiancee name) for (#) years. He has always been kind to me, has never been violent, and has always treated me well. (Fiancee name) and I have a child, (child's name), who just turned one year old on (date). It breaks my heart, and it breaks (finance's) heart, that (child) might live for many years with little or no meaningful contact with his father. With so many absent fathers in this country already, I beg this court not to sentence (child name) by taking his father away for many years.
(Fiancee name) has struggled with addiction for many years. This is really the root of his legal problems. (Fiancee name) is not a bad person, he has simply struggled against the evils of addiction for a long, long time. However, I have supported (fiancee name) during his long road to recovery, and I will continue to support him in the future when he is released. (Fiancee name) will have a home and I will help him to help himself to overcome his addiction problems once and for all.
(Fiancee name) has expressed remorse to me and a sincere desire to reform and stay out of trouble in the future. He realizes the gravity of his mistakes and how they will impact his family. His absence from the family will be a great hardship on me, but more importantly, on his newly born child, (child name.) I dread the thought of (child name) growing up without the love and support of (fiancee name), who is a very loving, caring, and gentle father.
Your honor, I beg you for mercy. I implore and plead that please consider all of (fiancee's name) positive qualities in balance with the wrongs he has committed, and show mercy and leniency upon (fiancee name). Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX opportunity to have input in this matter.
Whew! How does that sound? Did I incorporate most or all of what you wanted to express?
That sound great!
so the addiction is the guns right?
Very good.. You had all the words in your head, I just put them down on "paper" for you.
I was referring to addiction meaning drugs, because I thought you said that he was involved with drugs. NO, I would NEVER say he has an addition to guns! You would be shooting yourself in the foot by saying that, pardon the pun, even if it IS the truth,.
would be the line for the whole reason he is incarcerated to begin with, the guns?
he doesnt havr any drug charges so wouuld that be safe to say
I understood you to say that he was also charged with drugs, although the prosecutor dropped that charge. Did I misunderstand?
correct, now hes just charged with the gun charges
Ok, then the addiction part refers to drugs, not to guns. That is common, a lot of people have addiction issues, and addiction leads people to do things they would not normally do, etc.
The judge already knows he had a drug charge, assuming that the prosecutor dropped the charge in open court, which he basically has to do since the prosecutor has to have the judge's permission to drop any or all charges.
ok i am putting it all together i want you to check over it, can you give me a few minutes
Certainly, I'll go to the coffee pot, and I'll be right back too! LOL
Dear Honorable Judge John A. Ross:
It is with much sorrow that I am writing this letter pleading mercy from this Honorable Court. Im writing on behalf of my fiancée, DeMonta Whitt.I hope you will consider the following information in determining a just and fair sentence for DeMonta.
I have known DeMonta for 4 years. He has always been kind to me, has never been violent, and has always treated me well. DeMonta and I have a child, DeMonta Jr., who just turned one year old on Today, August 17th. It breaks my heart, and it breaks DeMonta’s heart, that DeMonta Jr., might live for many years with little or no meaningful contact with his father. With so many absent fathers in this country already, as well as both of our own Fathers, I beg this court not to sentence DeMonta Jr. by taking his father away for many years.
DeMonta has struggled with addiction for many years. This is really the root of his legal problems. DeMonta is not a bad person; he has simply struggled against the evils of addiction for a long, long time. However, I have supported DeMonta during his long road to recovery, and I will continue to support him in the future when he is released. DeMonta will have a home and I will help him to help himself to overcome his addiction problems once and for all.
DeMonta has expressed remorse to me and a sincere desire to reform and stay out of trouble in the future. He realizes the gravity of his mistakes and how they will impact his family. To the fact that the only victim of his crimes is himself. His absence from the family will be a great hardship on me, but more importantly, on his newly born child, DeMonta Jr. I dread the thought of DeMonta Jr. growing up without the love and support of DeMonta, who is a very loving, caring, and gentle father. Your honor, I beg you for mercy. I implore and plead that please consider all of DeMonta’s positive qualities in balance with the wrongs he has committed, and show mercy and leniency upon DeMonta. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX opportunity to have input in this matter.
With The Upmost Respect,
Chelsea N. Culberson
You're awesome! One change to suggest: in the final full paragraph, start a new paragraph between the sentence that ends "caring, and gently father." and the sentence that begins "Your honor, I beg you for mercy." Otherwise, you've done a masterful job and your letter sounds really good to me, very sincere and appropriate for any judge to read.
i would like to add in the fact thatthe judge a family and he wouldnt want to be without his children
I would not if I were you. You are addressing the court, not the judge (technically different) and that's probably being a little TOO personal.
what do you mean i am addresing the court?
In other words, when I talk to a judge, I do not use personal pronouns in the second person. The judge represents the concept of the court and of the justice system of the judicial branch. I do not say, "Judge, you just said that you granted my motion." Attorneys say, "Your honor" which is technically in the third person, so something like, "Does the Court mean to say that you are granting my motion?" Etc.
When a person talks to the court, it should be done with some distance, and should not be personal. if you say to the judge, "You've got a family too, right? Wouldn't you miss your son or daughter if they went away for a long time?" you are addressing the judge himself, and that's generally not proper. It is TOO up close and personal. I just would not do that if I were you, but it is of course your choice.
Your sentiment is logical, I agree. But it is just not something I would include.
ok i have another question, wit this being his first offense wil he be likely to get the lower end of his sentece
That is certainly an argument that his attorney can make, and your letter will help convince the judge that the lower end of the sentencing range is the right choice.
I hope my guidance has been helpful to you. I must sign off for the time being. Thank you for the opportunity to assist you this morning. If you are satisfied with the service I have provided, please rate my responses to your questions positively so that I can receive credit for my work. I wish you, DeMonta, and DeMonta Jr. the best with your future endeavors!
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