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Can someone, please, review my letter to the judge?

San Francisco, CA |

My friend asked me to write a character letter to the judge, so I did. The thing is, he does not want me to send it to his public defender , but send it to the judge instead. I am worried, because I only wrote the truth without embellishment. Can someone please take a look at it? I could post it here or e-mail directly.
Regards, Rita A.

Attorney Answers 3


The judge won't read it. Letters of support or otherwise at sentencing are presented by the attorney on the defendant's behalf after showing them to the DA. You should reconsider in my opinion whether to send a letter at all. If you are presenting information which would make anyone have second thoughts about the defendant maybe you had best keep your thoughts to yourself. Or, if you feel you have to say whatever it is you want to say warn you friend first.

Whatever you write should go to his public defender.

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I don't know why your friend apparently has problems with his public defender, but it's very stupid of him to ask you to do an end-run around his lawyer. His lawyer knows all the facts of the case and is much better qualified to review your letter than a stranger on the Internet who knows nothing about it.

Mr. Kaman practices in San Francisco, so he knows how the SF courts work. Unfortunately, in other counties, sometimes judges DO read letters submitted directly to the court... and sometimes they hurt, instead of helping.

In Butte County, where my office is located, probation officers ask defendants to bring letters to the probation department. I always tell my clients to have them sent to my office instead so I can review them first.

I've written a legal guide on letters to the judge, which has some guidelines and a sample letter. It might be helpful. See the link below.

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As echoed in previous posts, your friend should listen to his/her attorney or consider hiring an experienced criminal attorney from the Bay area.

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