A character witness letter often plays a vital role in court cases, especially when the accused is under trial only on the basis of circumstantial evidence. Even if the case has been decided and the accused is found guilty of the charges, a well-written character witness letter may result in a reduced sentence.
Ideally, a character witness letter helps the judge get a clearer picture of the character of the accused. This brings a perspective that may help the judge to decide whether the accused has made a mistake or willfully broken the law. in this post, you will get to know how to write a letter as a character witness.
Therefore, the letter writer must establish authenticity and objectivity simultaneously in the letter. The following points must be observed while writing a character witness letter for effectiveness.
One should open the dialogue with one’s own introduction. This should include legal name, job title, name of the workplace, and social status such as the father of two daughters, etc.
This will not only give the reader a better picture of the writer but also give a voice and a human touch to an inanimate piece of paper. Download now examples of character witness letters.
Character Witness Letter Template
Character Reference Letter Example
Character Witness Letters Examples
Establish authenticity as a character witness
In the very first paragraph, which should only act as an opening, the writer must establish authenticity. You are expecting the judge to accept your judgment of the character of the accused. Therefore, you must establish your character first as a reliable source. This could be achieved by mentioning your job and workplace, which would imply that you are a reliable and responsible person.
A sentence about your moral achievements or social recognition may add a lot of weight in this regard.
Project acquaintance with the character
You are only reliable as a character witness if you can prove that you have actually witnessed the character of the accused. You must mention the nature of the relationship in such a manner that the judge may be able to perceive your level of acquaintance with the accused.
For example, if you have only seen the accused in a coffee shop, on and off, you are not in any position to comment on the character of the accused. Conversely, if you are a neighbor or a colleague that worked in close proximity, and had a lot of interaction at the workplace, your account is far more reliable. download character witness letter template free.
Character Witness Letter Download
Describe the character
The second paragraph, which is the most important paragraph, should contain your detailed account of the character of the accused. You are writing on behalf of the accused. Therefore, you must keep in mind that the purpose of the character witness letter template is to describe the character of the accused to your best knowledge. Be kind and use clear descriptive words such as honest, trustworthy, kind, forgiving, by the book, etc.
Throw in an anecdote
Another good way of describing a character is to tell a story about some incidence that may allow the reader to deduce a positive image without your help. This gives the reader more confidence in your letter. But remember, this is a letter and the anecdote must be as brief as two sentences at max.
Use formal register
This is a letter to a court judge. The writer must always address the court formally. Do NOT use colloquial language or slang. Be as formal as possible
First person narrative
Being formal usually implies that first-person narrative must be avoided at all costs. But, this is letter is a submission to a higher authority. Thence, use the first-person narrative to show humility and humanity on your part.
Like all legal correspondences, this character witness letter template must also be precise and must not diverge into moral or legal lectures. You must only talk about the character of the accused.
Brevity is the soul of wit, said Shakespeare. And as a character witness to the court, you must abide by Shakespeare’s wisdom. Be concise and to the point. Avoid using unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. Do not go into long details. Just state your witness account and thank the court cordially.