Our character reference guide with templates, available for download in PDF:
When a Court sentences an individual, the details of the crime are only one of many features that must be taken into account. Behind every headline and offence is a human being with a life and story. Sometimes, this is best shown through people close to the defendant. References can come from family, friends, employers and work mates.
The purpose of a character reference is to tell the Court about all of the things about the defendant that it won’t know from the facts of the offence or the prosecutor’s submissions. References will often speak about a defendant’s good values, work history and community involvement.
There’s no golden rule about what a reference should include. Generally speaking, however, it must show that the author is aware of the charges that the defendant is facing. This is to demonstrate that the author’s opinion about the defendant has not changed, despite their charges.
In our detailed guide available for download, we suggest a simple approach for authors to follow:
References must always be dated and signed. It is preferable for references to be typed and placed on letterhead, especially for a reference from an employer.
If the person you are writing a reference for already has a lawyer, they will no doubt review your reference before it is provided to the Court.
If you or a person charged require more advice about how to prepare a character reference for Court in Queensland, contact us today.