How to Write a Letter to a Judge to Dismiss a Case

You may have found yourself in a position where you want to write a letter to a judge.

As the judge is considering how to sentence the defendant, you want to ensure that your letter articulates your point of view in a way that is not aggressive and is respectful of the justice system.

This article will teach you everything you need to know when it comes to writing a letter to a judge to request a case dismissal.

So is writing a letter even helpful at all? 

It is advised that you should wait until the trial is ongoing or when the plea has been announced by the jury before the judge gives a sentence to hand in your letter.

If you hand in the letter before the trial has begun, it can sway the judge’s position and sway a bias before anyone has said a word in court.

It’s not guaranteed that the judge will even read the letter as it is entirely dependent on your judge but follow the instructions given in this article and you’ll have the best chance of a judge really listening to what you have to say.

Another important note to mention is never write a letter pretending to be a defendant.

We’ll get into the specifics of the letter further on in the article but needless to say, pretending to be the defendant is a crime in itself and will only encourage the judge to go against the defendant as well as sending you to court as well.

Writing tips

You want to make sure that your letter looks as professional as possible.

Whether you have a banner across the top with your company name or just a simple address, always follow the basics of letter-writing when it comes to presentation.

After all, this is someone you don’t know and someone with a lot of power. By presenting your letter in the best way possible, you are increasing your chances of the judge listening to what you are saying while also giving a great first impression.

Also ensure that the defendant’s name is in the subject line of your letter. Bear in mind that this judge will likely have to deal with hundreds of cases a week so cannot be expected to remember every single one by heart.

By putting the defendant’s name in the subject line, you’re immediately leading their attention to the matter at hand so they fully know what to expect.

On the subject of professionalism, you want to make sure that you are addressing the judge by their formal title. Always refer to them as the Honorable (full name here).

This way you are acknowledging their position and making the letter as formal and serious as possible. When you wish to address the judge in the body of the letter, always refer to them as “Your Honor”.

This cannot be mentioned enough as it is always important to keep the respectful tone consistent throughout the letter.


To begin the body of the letter, it is always best to introduce yourself in the first few sentences. This gives the judge an idea of who you are and what your relationship is to the defendant and your motives for writing the letter.

By explaining where you work, you can sell yourself as someone with a great reputation who can be trusted by the judge. Show that the defendant is actually a good judge of character when it comes to who they surround themselves with. 

The next portion of the letter is the most important. This is where you explain why the defendant’s case should be dismissed and provide examples of their hard work and why it would be more beneficial to let them go.

This can be particularly helpful if you are writing on behalf of an employee as you will be able to give anecdotes from their time working for you. If you’re not writing on behalf of an employee then speak of your personal experience.

What are they like around family? Do they help in their local community? Anything that can highlight the good things they have done is all crucial to giving the judge an external context outside the case.

When it comes to concluding your letter, you want to round up the sentiment of everything you have been saying in the rest of the body.

It is advised that you bring in the defendant’s emotions into it such as the remorse and regret that they feel and how they are determined to turn a new leaf.

Reiterate your trust in the defendant and your respect for the judge and their position in the matter. Not only do you want to express the defendant’s regret in wrongdoing but also suggest ways in which they can better themselves and the community should their case be dismissed. 

Before printing or sending your letter to the judge, always proofread and then proofread again to correct any spelling or grammatical errors.

By doing this, you’re showing the judge that you care about the content of your letter and you’ve spent time really thinking and considering each word.

Make sure that each sentiment written always shows the defendant in a positive light and try to avoid any negative connotation. 

Delivering the letter

In terms of delivering the letter, it’s always best to hand it into the court yourself and give copies to the clerks as well so a note can be added into the system.

You will have to hand the judge’s copy to the clerk as no one is allowed to talk to the judge before the sentence is given. Naturally, this avoids any bias and means that human emotion cannot be brought into it.

By handing it into the court yourself, it shows the judge that you really care about the matter at hand. Try to avoid posting the letter or sending an email if it can be helped. By delivering the letter in person, you can also be assured that the letter will reach the right hands.


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