Character references are valuable in your criminal defense case and here’s why.
Courts-martial cases have two distinct phases. First, there is the guilt/innocence phase where fact evidence is presented to the court to determine if you are found guilty or innocent of the crime being charged. If you are found guilty character references become valuable to your defense. What I find could make the difference between minimal punishment or serving time in federal prison.
When a new client comes to me one of the first things I will task them with is developing a detailed list of people that I can talk with to develop a character profile. I want to know everything I can about you. Things that you have done that reflect well on you and things that might not. I want to know the names and contact information of every person that you know, generally, since you entered the military if you have been in the military for more than 15 years. If you haven’t been in for that long I want to know everyone you can list that has known you since you were in high school (coaches, teachers, peers, people you have dated, friends, co-workers, etc). I’m going to call each and every one of them and present them with a list of questions about you. My questionnaire is about two pages long and goes into detail about your ‘former’ life, achievements and accomplishments, dating habits, preferences, drug use, alcohol use, characterization for respect toward women, issues about violence in the past, your honesty, and a host of other topics
I’m looking for information that will convince the court that you have a redemptive value. Things that will show the court that even though you screwed up and committed this particular offense, it was a mistake and against your nature to do so and that, in all probability, you would never do again. All of your witnesses would probably testify that the act was completely unnatural for you to have committed and that you are a great candidate for rehabilitation without serving a sentence in confinement.
It’s not unusual for a client’s list to consist of over 100 names. it’s not comfortable to have to go through this process, I know. But it’s proven effective and I know I can help. The most I’ve had was 254 names of contacts and we talked to every one of them. Out of that list, we culled the names down to the best 4-5-6 persons to appear in court to testify on the client’s behalf. I don’t care how long the list is and, quite honestly, the more you have the better it is for you. I can’t emphasize how much character references are valuable in your criminal defense case
I’m here to help you and that often takes a sizeable effort, but that’s what we do. Caontact me for any questions or additional information.