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  #1  
Old 09-09-2017, 04:58 AM
MsTamaraBrown MsTamaraBrown is offline
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Default Need help with character letter for hubby's revocation hearing

Hello
I'm new to this and need a little help please.
My husband violated his felony probation multiple times he has 3 to 5yrs hanging over his head if they decide to revoke his probation. He asked me to write the court a character letter on his behalf..hoping to get his probation reinstated to ISP.. instead of prison.
I don't want a template outline I kind of want to make it my own as much as possible. may be a few examples of letters to get my thinking cap going on a few good ways to start and write this letter... I can't get it into my own words Idk why.
We have been married 7 years
we have 4 children
He is not employed currently but was seeking
He was addressing his addiction: with treatment, counseling ect
No new charges upon arrest
We do not have any family in this state and no ties to our community
1st time offender that is facing multiple probation violations
Non violent
My kids and I will face financial hardship bc I need my husband home to make it. I rely on him as much as he does me...sooo any helpers I need this done within 2 weeks. Thanks so much
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:18 AM
CenTexLyn CenTexLyn is offline
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I would HIGHLY recommend discussing this with his attorney. They will know the tenor of the court and whether one area should be emphasized over something else...
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:05 AM
xolady xolady is offline
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I totally agree with Centex. I don't believe judges really consider a character letter from a wife with much credibility. So I would get an attorney.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:46 AM
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Marseille Marseille is offline
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Ok... so I had to read the list a 2nd time to realize you were trying to list his attributes so I'm going to be a third here and say do not even START until you've consulted his attorney. If the best things about him are that he's an unemployed addict with a bunch of kids and zero support system at home or in the community, I wonder if a letter from you is appropriate at all. I'm sure his attorney can lead you in the right direction and give you ideas for things that will help you get the outcome you are hoping for. Good luck.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:56 AM
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I tend to agree that you should speak to his attorney and see if this would help. I don't think a letter Fromm a wife saying her husband is a good man is going to be of great benefit. Can he evidence how he is dealing with his issues i.e. Rehab programs counselling seeking employment . How many jobs has he applied for is he trying to improve his education and skills.
I wrote a character a letter for my son . It wasn't a begging letter or a misguided attempt to make him sound like a saint. I acknowledged that my son deserved punishment but also enough leniency for a second chance in life and I evidenced how prior to his one bad decision he had led a good life.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:08 PM
MsTamaraBrown MsTamaraBrown is offline
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Okay maybe if I break it down a little maybe I am misunderstanding what I'm being told.
In October of 2016 my husband was released from Jail after he took a plea agreement to a felony drug possession charge. He served 10 months in jail of his 3 to 5 sentence for that felony. The remainder of his sentence was deferred and would hang over his head so he was allowed to be released on a supervised felony probation where he also has to complete outpatient treatment, classes, after care, counseling, pay fines etc. Last month he broke his probation terms by violating..he missed his day to see his probation officer by one day. Well when he was arrested and went to district court the prosecutor has my husband on multiple violations I guess...and is also saying my husband is danger to me and our children. Also a danger to society. The prosecutor is using old police reports that were never founded to be true since no charges were ever filed to make my husband seem like this violent drug offender that has to be sent to prison.
My husband is a first time offender and we were hoping to get probation reinstated as Intensive supervised probation. The judge told my husband he has 15 days to dispute the prosecutors statements and she recommended my husband contact anyone family and friends who will give statements of my husband character and submit them to his attorney. After 15 days the letters will not matter at all. So I assumed I would be writing a form of a character letter...
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:34 PM
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Look, a guy gets charged with 5 counts of something in exchange for a guilty plea. The exchange is that they don't charge him with 40 counts like they could have. The judge is allowed to look at that in terms of deciding whether or not a guy remains a danger to society.

It's all a balancing act - the more he's done since getting out to show that he's not a danger, the more likely the court will reinstate probation of some sort. The less he's done, the more violations of the terms of his probation including missing an appointment, the more likely he's going to face some other consequence besides a more restrictive probation.

As for letters, a letter from a wife may seem to do little, but the absence of such a letter speaks volumes. You can ask his attorney for an outline - what you should and shouldn't write about. You should get your letter to the attorney as soon as possible so you can revise.

You're his wife. You want to state who you are, your relationship with the man, how long you've been in that relationship. Let the judge know about kids. Let the judge know what your man is doing to deal with his addiction and to push the balance towards not being a danger to society - what's he doing instead of drugs? Who is he hanging out with? Is he finding his therapy helpful? What changes have you noticed in him?

Speak in your own words and you'll be fine. And make sure you adhere to standard practices - formal English and English usage, 8.5x11 paper, black ink, Times New Roman or similar font. Treat it like a business correspondence. Address the judge as Your Honor. Do not get familiar. Do not deny or argue the conviction. Do not minimize his violation.

Let his attorney make suggestions for revision and then revise.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:18 AM
bellisq bellisq is offline
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AS always, good advice from yourself. I'm assuming your working and your husband is taking care of the kids and has been home for a while. I think you can have a paragraph about that and realistically ask that he be put on house arrest.

For friends, follow the structure advice from yourself. Ask them not to use adjectives to describe your husband but to put in a couple of paragraphs that paint a picture of something good your husband has done, or how he has struggled to rebuild his life, even if he's blown it. It doesn't sound like he's been a dealer, so punishment is no substitute for treatment. Maybe if he hasn't been through a 30 day in patient program, that step could be given.

This judge wants letters. Get him letters. Push him to get letters Good letters, all sent to the lawyer.. I'm sure one of us would be glad to read a draft (through message) for advice, Sounds like the judge gave you a gift, a chance at redemption, so make the most of it.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:51 PM
GaReform GaReform is offline
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Ok, do I understand that he has been out almost a year? And in that time has he done everything asked of him- "outpatient treatment, classes, after care, counseling, pay fines etc"? Has he ever missed any check ins before or had any other issues that got him a warning? If not, these are all positives to ask about including in your letter of support.

Stating that he has been actively looking for work & while doing that, he has helped assume many of the family responsibilities might also be a positive. Can you get any supportive statements from any treatment providers that might say he's progressing & making sincere efforts to turn his life around? You want to be able to show the court that he can be trusted to stay out of incarceration & that having him back inside would put a hardship on your family.

The advice you've already been given is good. I suggest you consult an attorney that is familiar with probation violations & your area. They can better help you decide what to do.
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