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I am the victim of unauthorized temporary use of a motor vehicle. Should I write a letter to the Prosecutor and/or Judge?

Jacksonville, FL |

My ex-boyfriend relapsed and took my car and traded it to his drug dealer. My ex has been charged with misdemeanor unauthorized temporary use of a motor vehicle (it was missing for 13 days before I located it). I want him to get the maximum sentence possible. Prosecutor told me that he could get probation or up to 1 year in jail. Would the Judge and/or Prosecutor care or read a letter that I wrote explaining what kind of person I am and what he put me through during this ordeal? I am a veteran, a graduate student (with a 4.0 gpa), a single mother, and I have no criminal record (only speeding violations). Does the Judge take into account who the victim is before sentencing the suspect? Any suggestions?

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Attorney answers 3


The judge will read any letter you send him through the prosecutors office. He may have an obligation to allow you to address him before he sentences your ex. I would not focus my comments on the kind of person you are, but rather inform the court about the kind of person your ex is, and how his breach of your trust affected you as a person. Talk about all the trouble finding the vehicle and being without a car for nearly two weeks put you through.

Do not forget however, if a deal has been struck between the prosecutor the defense lawyer and the court, you may not have an effect on the final decision. Worse yet, you may have a bad effect causing a trial to have to take place where he will stand a chance of winning and at the very least you will have to testify and may be strongly cross-examined.

Hence the best victim statements stick to facts, are brief and succinct and do not over do it on emotion. YOu can express feelings but saying things like "he should get the chair for what he has done" or "I want him to go to jail for the max" usually have the opposite effect on the court. Let the judge determine the sentence, you use your statement to inform the court of the things it may not know about the defendant and to express to the defendant what he did and how it affected you and your family.

Good luck, I hope you never have to go through something like this again. Also Thank you for your service to our country,

This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.

V. Iyer

V. Iyer


Very insightful, so true, and helpful. Thank you


I concur with Attorney Anthony. I too thank you for your service to our country.

I will add that the more fair, balanced, and objective your statements to the court are the impact it will have on the judge's decision.

As a victim you have the right to give your input or viewpoint but you cannot dictate or veto or control the final outcome of the case.

All you can do is exercise your rights with care and reasonableness and the chips fall wherever.

All the Best

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As a victim you have a right to be heard at every stage of your boyfriend's proceedings. However, your boyfriend will be punished for taking your car, not for being a bad boyfriend.
If he has a drug addiction maybe you should take the high road and recommend that he get help for his addiction