I. What Are Character Reference Letters?
In some instances, the outcome of a DUI case can be improved by gathering items that show you are actively addressing the issues that led to your DUI charge. Some of these items include character reference letters. So what are character reference letters and why are they important? Character reference letters can help paint a fuller picture of who you are outside of your DUI charge.
Character letters are great indicators of, well, your character. While these letters don’t necessarily guarantee a certain outcome, it may help the District Attorney or Judge get a better idea of what you mean to those who know you personally and how important you are to your local community.
II. How To Write A Character Reference Letter
If your attorney advises you to ask your friends and family to write character reference letters for your DUI case, there’s a few things to keep in mind:
- Character reference letters can be from family members, friends, co-workers, bosses, employees, etc.
- The letters should include how the person knows you and the length of time they’ve known you.
- Some topics that may be featured in the letters can include how hardworking you are, your integrity, the positive impact you have on people’s lives, or your contributions to your local community.
- They should also include the address of the author as well as a phone number and email where the author of the letter can be reached.
III. Example of a Character Reference Letter
We have included a sample character letter in this blog that you can refer to when asking friends and family to write a character letter for you (click here to download sample character letter). At the top of the letter is the date followed by “To Whom It May Concern.” There are instances that people use “Dear Honorable Judge,” but character letters are sometimes given to the District Attorney, so we recommend using “To Whom It May Concern,” as that’s a more generic introduction.
The letter begins with the author, in this case John Smith, talking about meeting the defendant, Jane Johnson at work. He states the amount of time he’s known Jane and immediately begins to talk about her work ethic and drive. The letter continues to talk about Jane’s dependability and determination and establishes Jane’s important role in the workplace.
John then talks about Jane’s positive impact in the community through her volunteer work and describes her as “a wonderful example of drive, dedication, compassion, and service.” The letter ends with John reiterating Jane’s wonderful attributes: “hardworking, driven, compassionate, kind, and dedicated to being of service to those around her and her community at large.”
By highlighting Jane’s positive characteristics and contributions to society, John leaves the reader with a lasting impact of the type of person Jane is. To conclude the letter, John includes his first and last name, his job title (if applicable), his mailing address, his email, and his phone number.
If your attorney advises you to get character reference letters from loved ones, you can always refer back to this blogpost or download our sample character reference letter or our character reference letter template. Remember to ask your loved ones to highlight your merit and integrity, to include how hardworking you are, the positive impact your have on people’s lives, and the contributions you make to your local community.
With the help of an experience DUI attorney, these character letters may increase the probability of a favorable outcome for the person facing the DUI charge. If you or someone you know needs help with a DUI charge, please call our offices at 800-797-8406 for a free consultation. A DUI charge can be daunting and overwhelming, but you don’t have to go through it alone. The Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher are here to help, so please give us a call today.