The below is a guide with tips on how to write a powerful and effective apology letter if you intend on pleading guilty (or found guilty) for a drug offence. This applies to all drug offences, including drug possession, supply, cultivate or manufacture.
Sample apology letter if charged with a drug offence
Typed letterhead here i.e. CDE Pty Ltd
To: The Presiding Local Court Magistrate or District Court Judge
Name the specific court I.e. Newcastle Local Court
GENERAL TOPICS TO BE COVERED
- Express your remorse and insight into the drug offence. For example, I accept responsibility for committing this offence and understand the seriousness of it. I regret my offending conduct, and I understand the extent of damage drugs can do to the end user and the community. I now realise that unknown to me at the time, the drug could have had a cocktail of lethal ingredients which could have killed me.
- Outline your age.
- Express the embarrassment you felt upon reflecting on your drug offence and after disclosing it to those close to you.
- If you are committed to never offending again, then express this.
- Your employment status, your role, period of time in this role and:
- Consequences of a drug conviction on your employment/job and an outline of why.
- Requirements to undergo criminal background checks or security clearances.
- Impact on your employer if you were no longer working there. This may include any approximate financial loss to the employer.
- Whether your employer has a strict no conviction policy requirement.
- Explanation for your drug offence. For example, if applicable, you may outline that you committed the drug offence in circumstances you became addicted to drugs or to assuage any mental health issues.
- Charity or other contribution you have given to the community.
- Rehabilitative steps taken. Here, you may outline the steps you have taken to ensure this is never repeated. This may include drug or alcohol counselling, psychologist treatment to address any mental health issues, or drug rehabilitation treatment. The MERIT treatment program specifically designed to help those with drug problems and is an excellent opportunity to participate in.
- Any mental health illness you suffer.
- Any unfortunate personal circumstances, including financial circumstances. Whether you have dependents who rely on you to maintain your job for an income.
Print your name here
Basic rules about apology letters for drug offences
- Your apology letter for drug charge(s) should be no more than 1 page. Magistrates and Judges are very busy and often overworked with lots of cases each day. Its highly recommended to keep your apology letter within 1 page long and to be on point. Only include relevant information.
- Your letter should be typed or neatly handwritten, with a date and your signature.
- The original letter should be handed to the Judge, not a copy.
- Your letter should be in your own words.
- It is recommended to have a drug lawyer review your apology letter before giving it to the Judge.
- Refer the Judge or Magistrate in court as “Your Honour”.
What to avoid saying
In order to get a better outcome on sentence, you should avoid saying the following things when writing an apology letter for a drug offence:
- Avoid telling the Judge or Magistrate what to do with your case. It’s advisable not to say things like, “I should get a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order without conviction for this offence.”
- Do not provide excuses for your offence. Do not come across as distancing yourself from what you have pleaded guilty to (or where you are found guilty). This also means, avoid blaming anyone else for your offence. By owning up to the offence and accepting responsibility you will come across as showing genuine remorse and insight which will likely lead to a better result.
- Avoid using other people’s sentences or words. Do not copy other people’s apology letters.
How to start your sentence
I feel extremely embarrassed for committing this offence..
- I understand that this is a serious offence which I will never repeat..
- I have reflected on my regretful conduct and realise the harm it caused/could have caused..
- The police arrest and court process has been extremely embarrassing, which I never wish to ever go through again..
- Telling my employer/family/friends about my offence has been one of the most difficult things that I have ever gone through..
- I don’t have any excuses for my behaviour..
- Completing the MERIT program/ undergoing drug treatment has been very helpful…
- What I didn’t realise at the time of my offence is the potential harm drugs can do to…
- There is no one other than myself to blame for the potential impact a drug conviction will have on my job and family because…
Our drug lawyers have over 25-years-experience in drug cases, which includes guiding clients in preparing compelling apology letters. For over 2 decades, our team have maintained an exceptional track record of successfully:
- Getting section 10 dismissals and Conditional Release Orders without a conviction for drug offences.
- Avoiding driver licence disqualifications and demerit points for drug driving cases.
- Getting serious drug charges withdrawn early or downgraded to a less serious charge.
- Avoiding imprisonment sentences for serious drug cases.