How to Write an Apology Letter for Assault Offences

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If you intend on pleading guilty, or you’re found guilty for an assault offence, an effective apology letter
can help convince a Magistrate or Judge to give a more lenient sentence.

Sample apology letter if charged with an assault offence

Typed letterhead here i.e. EFG Pty Ltd
Date:
To: The Presiding Local Court Magistrate or District Court Judge
Name the specific court I.e. Gosford Local Court

Your Honour,

GENERAL TOPICS TO BE COVERED

Yours faithfully.
Signed
Print your name here

FAQ

Basic rules about apology letters

Keep the length of your apology letter to no more than 1 page. This should be enough length to briefly outline the relevant points for a Judge or Magistrate to read. Remember to keep in mind that a Judge or Magistrate is required to get through a high volume of cases in a day.

  • It is recommended to have your apology letter typed, signed and dated.
  • The original apology letter should be handed to the Judge or Magistrate, not a photocopy.
  • Ensure that your apology letter makes sense without grammatical or spelling errors. It is recommended to have an experienced criminal lawyer (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/about-us/lawyers/) to review it for you before handing it to the
    court.
  • Use your own words when drafting your apology letter. Judges and Magistrates will likely be able to tell the difference.
  • Refer to the Judge or Magistrate as “Your Honour”.

What to avoid saying in an apology letter

Always avoid telling the Judge or Magistrate what to do or how to deal with your case. For example, avoid saying things like, “you should give me a section 10 non-conviction or Conditional Release Order without conviction (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/blog/the-end-of-section-10-bonds-in-nsw-as-a-sentencing-option/) for this because….”.

  • Giving excuses for your offending behavior will more likely result in a harsher sentence. But giving an explanation won’t. Avoid even coming across as providing an excuse.
  • Avoid blaming anyone else for your offending behavior. By blaming people other than yourself the Judge or Magistrate will likely take it as you lacking insight and remorse, which will likely result in a heavier sentence.
  • Avoid copying other people’s apology letters. A Judge or Magistrate who has read thousands will likely know. Always be original in your letter and remember that this is an opportunity for the Judge or Magistrate to get to know a little about you.

How to start your sentence

  • I wish to express my regret and shame in…
  • I blame no one other than myself in what I…
  • I have reflected on my behaviour and acknowledge the seriousness of the offence…
  • I realise that my conduct has harmed/had the potential to harm…
  • I’ve disclosed my offending behaviour to…
  • I will ensure this is never repeated…
  • I have participated in counselling which has provided insight about…

Our experienced criminal lawyers have a proven track record of achieving exceptional results for over 25-years in serious assault cases, including:


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