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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27086
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I have been asked by a friend who is now being indicted for

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I have been asked by a friend who is now being indicted for taking a bribe on a bid offer while he was a county commissioner, to write a character letter on his behave to the presiding judge. Is this permissible and legal, what might be my legal consequences be by doing this? I know him but have never had any knowledge or involvement with him socially or in any business dealings.
Hello Jacustomer,

Yes, this is perfectly okay for someone to write to the judge attesting to the character of a defendant and sometimes judges will even ask for such documentation. The judge will not read the letter, however, unless he shares it with the prosecutor and the defense attorney.

If you feel you could write a character reference, you should send it to your friend's lawyer, who can decide for himself whether it is in your friend's best interest to let the judge and the other side see the letter. There are no negative legal consequences for you, but as far as your friend is concerned, if you can't establish that you know him well enough to have a strong basis for your letter, it's not going to do much good.
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