How to write a letter to a judge to get someone out of jail

Written by michael davidson
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How to write a letter to a judge to get someone out of jail
Some judges are more easily persuaded than others. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Character witnesses are allowed in criminal cases in several instances. For example, they may be admitted in a sentencing or parole hearing. A well-written letter speaking highly of the defendant can assist in persuading a judge to minimise a sentence or to release the defendant. The writing of this letter should be done in a precise and professional manner.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Speak with the defendant's defence attorney. He can suggest character traits to emphasise relevant to the defendant's charges.

  2. 2

    Address the judge by name and title at the top of your letter.

  3. 3

    Give your name and provide the case number or case name. Explain your relationship to the defendant.

  4. 4

    Discuss the positive aspects of your relationship to the defendant.

  5. 5

    Provide specific examples of situations in which your life was enriched by the defendant or how he helped you.

  6. 6

    Emphasise why the defendant should be released or given the minimum sentence. Express your belief that the defendant will not commit more offences upon release.

  7. 7

    Sign and date the letter. Make at least five copies of the letter and give copies to the defence and prosecution as needed. Keep one for yourself.

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