The purpose of a sample character reference letter for court is to highlight the positive traits and behavior of someone who stands accused of committing a crime. Character reference letters are most often written by the defendant's friends, family members and acquaintances. Character references need to be written by people who have known the defendant for a significant amount of time and have not been accused or convicted of breaking the law.
The beginning of a character reference letter needs to include information about the person who is writing the letter, such as occupation, relationship to the defendant and any relevant qualifications. In addition, a character reference needs to include a statement regarding the crime the defendant is accused of committing. In this section of the letter, it is essential to describe how the defendant is handling the situation. For example, if the defendant is showing remorse, paying for damaged property or seeking counseling, include this information in this portion of the character reference letter. Lastly, a character reference needs to include positive aspects of the defendant, such as standing in the community, previous volunteer work and past behavior.
Authors of these references should always remember the importance of being truthful, as lying in these letters is considered perjury and is an offense. They should also keep the letters short, succinct and factual and avoid sugarcoating the facts. These letters should be no more than one page in length.