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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Handling criminal and probation matters for over 14 years.
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I need a sample letter asking a judge for leniency for my sons

Customer Question

I need a sample letter asking a judge for leniency for my son's violation of probation sentencing coming up in June. My son is 20 years old. When he was 18yrs old, he committed a burglary. He received probation before judgement (PBJ) in March 2010. His probation was lifted for good behavior in August 2011. During the probation - my husband "kicked" our son out of our house, and told him to find a job. I know this probably was not reasonable at the time, and we fought about it. We brought my son back into the house after two weeks of living on the streets. During that time he had no food, so he shoplifted at a local store. This was not found out until January 2012 while reviewing video and still pictures from the store. My son was identified by the police. We went to court for this crime in March 2012. My son served 30 days in jail. Now he has to go back to court in June 2012 for violation of probation on his original crime of burglary. Our attorney is going to fight this by stating that it is not within the timeframe (certain # XXXXX days have passed) therefore they can't charge him with violation of probation in the first place. My concern is that -regardless- he committed another crime under the circumstances and the judge might see it as that. His original sentence carried a possible 20 yr max. As I stated before, he is only 20 years old. I thought writing a letter to the judge would be beneficial. She does not know the circumstances (not that it's an excuse), but she also does not know that he has been working two jobs, approximately 60 hours a week, enrolled to college for this Fall in the state his grandparents live in. (so he plans to move if able), and he paid all his bills, including rent and food to us during the last year. He truly learned from his mistakes. He is not a threat. Putting him away, as I can see it, would only be a step backwards. I wanted to let the judge know these things and the changes he made in his life, as his mother. However, I do not want to step on the judges toes. I am unsure if a letter would help or hurt, since the attorney is going in trying to fight it anyway. Please advise...
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer!

I am sorry to learn of these circumstances. Please clarify: are you going to be at the next court date?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes and my parents.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. Then, with all due respect, you should not be sending a letter to the judge for three reasons.

First, it is improper ex parte communication. The court staff should not even give the letter to the judge. Your son is represented by an attorney and all communication needs to go through the attorney to the judge.

Second, your son's attorney is working to fight the alleged violation. You and your son's attorney need to be on the same page. You need to let the attorney litigate the case. I know that you want to help your son but a letter to the judge right now would be a bad/wrong thing to do. It would really complicate things and it would not help your son.

Third, since you will be at court, you can tell the attorney that you would like to speak to the judge before any sentencing. That's when you can explain to the judge what you wrote here and ask for the judge's consideration. That is the proper time and place to make your pitch.

It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. It is my goal that you are satisfied. No expert can promise you an answer that is favorable to your circumstances. But I will do my very best to explain the legal principles that are related to the facts you’ve described so that you can better understand the “why” of things.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can provide to give you excellent service!"

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