Have you been charged by the Police or are you going to the Magistrates’ Court and need a criminal defence lawyer? You might also need character references for court.
There’s nothing nice about being part of a criminal law proceeding, especially if you are the accused. If you need character references, there are a few things to know to get the most out of each referee.
How to choose the ‘perfect’ character reference
A judge or magistrate will read a character reference before a sentence has been decided in a trial. The reference will always be more helpful if your character reference is a long-time friend who has no criminal record.
How To address the Court
If you have been asked by your defence lawyer to prepare or present a character reference for your hearing, there are several key elements that should always be considered when your character reference is addressing the Court in either a spoken or written situation:
- Always refer to the judge or magistrate as “Your Honour”.
- Clearly outline the relationship they have to you, including your past dealings and experiences.
- Explain that they understand how severe your crimes are, and how they feel about what you are accused of (or have been found guilty of).
- Explain any hardships that you may have dealt with before the sentence has been handed out.
- Finally, provide a reference of the accused person’s character. This can have a huge effect on the judge.
How the character reference can help you
Although a criminal law character reference may not alter the outcome of a Magistrates’ Court trial or sentence, it may alter the time or severity of the sentence given to the accused. The truth, however, is that a character reference is of paramount importance, be it positive or negative. What is said could impact yours or someone else’s life.
For any criminal law matter, it’s most important that before you do anything, or say anything to the Police that you always speak with a legal professional to ensure you properly understand your rights and responsibilities.
Do You Have Police Charges Against You?
If your name is on the Magistrates’ Court list, then call us for assistance.
At McClure Law, we work closely with all of our clients to get the best result in their criminal law matter. Principal Shane McClure heads our Court appearances, so you know who is looking after your matter from the beginning. For more information email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (03) 9744 1881. We’d be happy to help you.