Character Reference Guide for Drink Driving Cases
Being able to demonstrate that you are of good character can be a distinct advantage when it comes to your drink driving case.
If you are planning to plead guilty, having up to three character references for the magistrate can result in them taking a more lenient view of your circumstances.
Here is a general guide to character references, and what sort of information they should include:
- The character reference should be addressed to the presiding magistrate, and be typed on a letterhead
- The language should be in the words of the referee (the person providing the reference), and not be overly formal in tone
- The referee should begin by mentioning some background information about themselves, such as where they work, any community positions or titles held, or contributions they make to charities
- The referee should also state how long they have known you for, and in what capacity.
- They should include whether they see you on a regular basis, and if so, how often
- When they are discussing your character, it is important that your referee backs up any assertions with evidence wherever possible. For instance, if they state you are honest, providing examples of times when they have seen you demonstrate this is important
Your referee should also give reasons why you need your licence:
- These should be detailed, and discuss driving requirements for your job, or for family commitments – such as transporting children to school or activities, or caring for an elderly relative.
Your referee should also state any long-term implications that might arise from a disqualification from driving, such as to your career, or perhaps a visa application, where applicable
- It is essential that your referee make it clear that they understand the seriousness and the nature of the offence you are pleading guilty to, as well as any previous history of criminal or drink driving offences
- The referee should avoid mentioning any penalties, or giving their opinion on what the sentence should be.
For advice on preparing character references and defending your drink driving case, please contact one of our lawyers today.