According to Armstrong Legal, a court character reference letter should include specific examples of the accused person's good character. It should also be typed on official letterhead if possible, stating how long the writer has known the accused, indicating that the writer is aware of what the charges are and noting if the writer knows that the accused has suffered any remorse or anxiety regarding the offense.
Armstong Legal also recommends including any known personal circumstances that contributed to the commission of the crime. If the reference letter pertains to a traffic offense, Armstrong Legal recommends outlining any difficulties the accused is likely to experience due to losing his drivers license, such as a job loss. The letter should not suggest a penalty, criticize the law or victim or make any false statements. The writer of the letter should also refrain from making any submissions or speeches.
According to Reference.com, character reference letters can be effective in swaying a judge's opinion of the accused and reducing a sentence. Character reference letters should be from a credible source or a professional. Doctors, lawyers, teachers and public service professionals that have known the accused for a substantial period of time serve as some of the best references.