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CrimDefense, CriminalDefenseAtty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28364
Experience:  10+ years defending Misdemeanor and Felony cases.
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I need help writing a letter to my judge before my sentencing.

Customer Question

I need help writing a letter to my judge before my sentencing. I pled out to conspiracy to posses with intent to distribute. (oxycontin) I need to ask for the most lenient sentence, I have a 16 month old daughter, and the only reason I got involved in such a horrible thing was I got a prescription for it after my c-section, and by the time those were gone, I was addicted. I've never been in trouble before, and I have spent the last 6 months on bail at a halfway house doing EVERYthing correctly. I got a job, I go to NA, I take substance abuse classes, I even got my ankle monitor taken off. Please help me, I am ususally well spoken, but when it comes to writing this letter, I am having such a hard time.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 8 years ago.

What you wrote above, is truly on the right track. of the message you need to convey to the Judge. First, accept responsibility for what happened and apologize to the court. Briefly explain to the Judge, the reason for your actions and that you regret what has happened. Then, explain tot he Judge your current situation and everything you have done, since being charged, to rehabilitate and correct your wrong doing. It seems as though you have made great efforts, to get back on track. Moreover, explain to the Judge the need for you to be there to raise your daughter. Ask for the court to consider probation or a residential treatment facility, that will allow you to keep your child. Ask for treatment and any other help, the court will offer. Give the Judge alternatives, instead of incarceration. If you could speak at your sentencing, it would probable be better, to reiterate everything you say in your letter to the Judge.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Okay, but can you give me an example of a good way to word all that, I have such a hard time putting it into words. And since my daughter's father will be there in the courtroom how do I explain that I would never have been involved without him, and he's gonna be right there. (*His approach to sentencing is to say that he was only involved for one phone call (he pled to a phone count) and that after his phone call he went to jail for a probation violation. This is despite the fact that the CI's in our case all named him as the major distributor.... so basically he's trying to BS...) So if I stand there and say that without his being in my life, I would never have been around these people, and he says that he wasnt' even involved, how does that look?


What are some alternatives to incarceration, besides being sentenced to the halfway house? ANd how do I make myself look like a good candidate for that type of sentence?

Expert:  CrimDefense replied 8 years ago.
I do not want to write the letter for you because it wont come from your heart. The Judge needs to know you are sincere about what you say or else he will think you are just like everyone else, that is before him. You need to express emotion about what has happened in the past, pride as to what you have accomplished since then and concern about your future, as it is in the Judges hands. Everything you have told me already, should be included. Do not bring any co-defendants into your letter, as you do not want the Judge think you are shifting the blame on someone else. You can acknowledge the role they played, but allow the Judge to understand the ultimate decision, was yours. I did not realize this was a federal case, so as you know, there are sentencing guidelines for the Judge to impose. If your attorney knows any alternative sentencing options for your case, ask them and include those options in your letter and tell the Judge how that would impact your life.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

The guidelines have become advisory, and there is no madatory minimum for my charge, thankfully. My attorney told me the judge would feel generous if he imposed like 2 years of my sentence, which could possibly be done in a halfway house or like facility. How do I say that I would have never known these people without brining in my co-defendant? Does that make sense?

Expert:  CrimDefense replied 8 years ago.
Tell the Judge you were introduced to these people through _________ and you should have exercised better judgment and not gotten involved with what they were doing.