Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Good afternoon, I am a Criminal Defense and Immigration Law attorney and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office. I'll be answering your questions today, please understand this is for informational purposes only, and we do not currently have an attorney-client relationship. Please allow me just a few minutes to prepare some information for you, thank you! (this is not an automatic reply, I am actually here writing to you)
Do you mind sharing what the charge was you were on probation for (it is okay if not, but could be of some help)? And just to confirm, your question is you are wondering what you should include in your letter?
First off, I'm happy to hear that you have an attorney representing you for the VOP hearing. The evidentiary standards in a VOP hearing is much lower than at trial, and as such unfortunately that usually does not work in favor of the accused. Needless to say, having a good lawyer working on your behalf can make the world of difference.
If you're wondering what to include in the letter to the Judge, I believe keeping a respectful, apologetic tone is important. Of course include a formal apology. Then I would also recommend including any difficult personal, family, or work-related stressors that you may have had going on that may have led you into making the poor choice to smoke. You can also include what you're going to do to make sure something like this doesn't happen again, and to seek out the help that you need. For example, you can suggest that you voluntarily enroll in a Narcotics Anonymous class, or some other sort of rehabilitative program. (It may sound a bit cumbersome to add more requirements to your probation, but it may help win the Judge over in your favor, and when you consider that the possible penalties you're exposed to right now is the maximum sentence for your original charged crime, some classes aren't alot in the grand scheme of things).
I think it's a good idea that you're writing the letter, and I hope this information helps! Please take a moment to rate me using the stars as this is the only way experts are compensated for our time here on 'just answer'. It doesn't cost you anything to rate me, and we can still continue our conversation for free after. Thanks!
Hi! Just checking in to see if you have any more questions? I hope I was able to address all of your concerns. Please let me know, I'm here to help. Thanks!
Yes, I think you should. You don't need to send it into the Prosecutor, but just bring it with you, or provide it to your private attorney beforehand. That way, he/she can look it over and decide if they think it will be helpful to your case (since they will have all of the details and facts of your particular case).
I hope that helps, and best of luck to you. Please take a moment to rate me using the stars as this is the only way I'm compensated for my time, and the only way your deposit will be returned to you. I hope I was able to address all of your concerns. Thanks!