When you have been charged with an offence and have chosen to plead guilty, you are able to write an apology letter to the court. The purpose of the apology letter is to show that you understand the offence you have been charged with, and that you are remorseful your actions that led to the charge. The sentencing judge has the discretion to take the apology letter into consideration when determining your sentence and a standout apology letter is likely to persuade a judge to give you a lenient sentence. Here are some tips on how to write an apology letter according to criminal lawyers in Sydney.
What Should You Include in Your Apology Letter According to Lawyers in Sydney?
Why you are sorry.
It is important to convey to the court not only that you are sorry, but also the reasons why. In explaining why you are sorry, it is useful that you include the circumstances of how you came to realise what your actions were. You can state a brief summary of the events that led to the charge and anything that happened during or after that helped you come to this realisation. This form of reflection allows the court to see that you are genuinely remorseful for your actions. You may also include any actions that you have taken to improve yourself e.g. enrolling in a traffic offenders’ course or seeking counselling.
Impact that your crime has had.
When conveying the impact your crime has had on the court, you should outline the impact on the community and the impact on yourself.
The impact to the community requires an acknowledgement of the harm that has been done by way of your actions. Even where the crime is one that may not have a substantial impact on the community, such as drug possession, it is still important to let the court know that you understand how possession of illicit substances goes against community values as advised by lawyers in Sydney.
The impact on yourself may include an explanation of how the proceedings have affected you and your family. You may outline the cost of seeking legal representation, any impact on your psychological or emotional state, and most importantly what you have learnt from the experience. This final point is extremely important in showing the court that you are genuinely remorseful for your actions and that you have seriously considered what you have done.
Explaining your emotional state.
According to criminal lawyers in Sydney, an explanation of your emotional state allows you to convey to the court how you were feeling during and after the commission of the offence. This allows the court to have context as to why you committed the offence, and is also a reflection as to why you would not commit the offence again.
Your emotional state during the commission of the offence allows you to provide the court with the reasons why you committed the offence. This is your opportunity to show the court that your behaviour was out of character and that had the circumstances been different, it is unlikely you would have engaged in the conduct that led to you being charged.
Your emotional state after the commission of the offence allows you to provide the court with insight into how you felt after you realised what you had done. This once again provides the court with insight into your character and that you understand the nature of the offence. This also allows the court to see that you have genuine remorse for what you have done. Your emotional state after the offence is important in the court determining how quickly you realised the nature and gravity of your conduct, and gives the court further insight into your character based on how you perceive yourself and the situation.