If you have been asked to write a DUI character reference letter for a friend, employee, business associate or other acquaintance, be ready and willing to give that person your full support. DUI offenses in any state are taken very seriously. They will need someone or several people to vouch for them, to let the judge know this offense was completely out of character for the person as you know him. It will be helpful for the person if the judge can have a more complete picture of this person, one outside of the offense.
Who Should Write the DUI Character Reference Letter?
It will be more helpful and carry a little more weight if you are a reputable and respected person yourself in some relationship to the community and you have some connection with the person. This would include positions in the community such as: a coach, a teacher, an employer, a church member or a business owner. This is not limited to these professions. There are several other professions or relationships that will qualify just as well. Next you will want to establish the fact that you have known this person for quite some time. You are somewhat familiar with the habits, activities, church, community and family involvement of this person. You will be giving a brief overview or personal opinion from your perspective. You will want to highlight many of the positive qualities of this person. Be sincere and completely honest.
What to Include in Your DUI Character Reference Letter
When a person appears before a judge or in court, the court only knows him in relationship to his offense. You are going to give them a broader, more rounded view of this same person. You are going to provide evidence of a life outside of the offense that shows him involved with his church, family, community, sports; anything that will give the judge another perspective of this person. Hopefully this DUI is a single event in this person’s life and by no means a repetitive occurrence. Give evidence that this is not what the person usually indulges in. You will want to present him as a morally upright and responsible person.
Obviously something caused the offender to get off track of his life’s goals. Maybe you can give a brief explanation of something unusual or some additional stress that may have contributed to his making this wrong decision. Whatever it was, make it clear that this person is full of remorse and understands the full ramifications of his actions and has no intention of being a repeat offender. You will be putting your own reputation on the line so make sure you really do know this person and you feel comfortable vouching for him.
Some Areas of Character You May Want To Expand On:
- Family: how involved is this person with his/her family? Describe some of the activities he participates in with the family.
- Church: does he attend on a regular basis. Is he involved in any outside additional church activities? Does he hold any positions of responsibility?
- Community: how is he involved with the community? Does he do any volunteer work or help in fund raisers, raise money for walk-a-thons to raise money?
- Activities: what does he normally do in his spare time: sports, hobbies, family activities, helping family members?
- Military Service: has he served our country and put his life on the line?
Points you want to include in your DUI Character Reference Letter:
- Find out the name of the Judge or to whom the letter is to be addressed from the person’s lawyer.
- Establish your presence in society and what your relationship is with this person. Let the judge know that this behavior was out of character for this person as you know him. Give a likely reason for this person’s actions.
- Give some background information painting this person in a different light, outside of the offense. For many, getting a DUI is not a part of who they really are. It was an error in judgment at the time for whatever reason. It was single event in the history of a person’s long life. It’s not really part of their history.
- Establish some community involvement and relationships that normally take place in this person’s life.
- Explain as best you can what this person is doing to rebalance his life since this act was not the norm. Be willing to testify on their behalf in court if called upon.
April 11, 2010
To the Honorable Judge Lucas:
I am a business partner and friend to Sean Biggs so I have known him for over 15 years and have seen his work ethics in practice and how he relates to his family. He has been working long, hard hours with me to get this business secure. It has taken time from his family and also has robbed him of some personal time. I believe the extra long evenings and weekends had an effect on him that we did not realize. Drinking is not his habit so getting a DUI offense was completely out of character for him.
I chose him as a partner because of his personal family life, which is commendable, and because of his work ethics and integrity as a person. The rapport he has with his family and two small daughters is enviable. As a family they attend Sunday school and Church on a regular basis and he is involved when the need arises for an extra person to assist in a church activity, whether it is lawn work, repairs or something simple like picking up an elderly person to bring to church. Needless to say he is feeling great remorse and embarrassment because of this situation and its repercussions not only to his life but mainly for his family.
Sean and I also played sports in high school and he continues to coach little league seasonally. He is an enthusiastic coach and mentor to the players. He has earned the respect of the players and of the parents for his full involvement and interest. It takes a lot of commitment to be a coach and to continue coaching as a volunteer yet Sean has never had a problem in that area. He enjoys being involved in the community in that capacity.
With that said, please take all this into consideration. Sean understands what he did was wrong and is balancing his life out again between God, family and business. I strongly believe that this will never ever happen again. Please feel free to contact me at any time as I wish to see this resolved and I am willing to answer any questions or testify on his behalf.
1312 Highland Ave.
Newport, TN 37912
Format for the DUI Character Reference Letter
- It’s very simple. Date on top left, skip 3 lines, then the salutation. Your name and contact information will be at the bottom of the letter with your name.
- Salutation: To the Honorable Judge Jones: (this person’s lawyer can tell you exactly how to address this part).
- Give a full explanation for writing the DUI Character Reference Letter. Be sure to include your profession and in what capacity you have known this person and how long you have been acquainted with the person. Follow this with a character background giving more details about this person.
- Sign with your name and contact information.
Category: Example Character Letter DUI