When do you need a character reference?
When you have been charged with a criminal offence and especially if you have pleaded or been found guilty, character references can help the judge or magistrate to decide the penalty you should be given.
Character references will be most useful when you have known the person for at least 12 months and you have frequent contact with them. It is in your interests to work with the team of expert criminal lawyers at Parke Lawyers to help compile your character references.
What to include
Written character references should usually be formal in tone, contain accurate information and the signature and details of the person giving the reference. In some cases it will be helpful to have character witnesses attend court to give evidence in person.
The credibility of your character reference is important. It is helpful for anyone giving a reference to provide their full name, address (professional or personal), occupation, an explanation of how they know you and any relevant qualifications. A written reference should be signed and dated as well as complying with any applicable court rules or practice notes.
Different character references can provide various types of information and evidence. Some may be able to provide general information about your character, others about your employment or community involvement. You should discuss with your lawyer the types of information the witnesses may be able to provide.