Writing a Simple Letter of Reference for Expungement
Writing a Simple Letter of Reference for Expungement (with Sample) Use this sample letter of Reference for Expungement as a template for your formal reference letter. Last updated on February 12th, 2019
When someone wants to remove unwanted items from their criminal record, they may require a letter of reference for expungement. The main reason a person may want to expunge their criminal record is because it is inhibiting a rental agreement, loan application or job application.
For example, the person may have been arrested but not charged with any crime. In this case, they have the right to have the arrest record sealed and any identifying parts of the record returned. To achieve this, they need to write an expungement letter and send it along with a character reference letter to the judge or other person who has the power to expunge their record.
A letter of reference for expungement is usually considered when the judicial system is verifying a person’s character and rehabilitation. Writing this type of letter is not simple, but there are a few steps that will make it easier.
There are several rules governing expungement that must be met before a person is allowed to write an expungement letter. It’s important for the person writing an expungement recommendation letter to be sure the candidate qualifies for expungement. If these conditions are met, there is no need for a petition or hearing.
• No gross misdemeanor or felony conviction on their record for the past 10 years
• Before determining probable cause all charges were dismissed
• The prosecution didn’t file charges
• After the arrest, the applicant didn’t participate in a diversion program
• A grand jury didn’t return the indictment
The person writing the letter of recommendation should find out the exact charges the requesting person is trying to have expunged because this will help guide the content of the letter. For example, if the charge is illegal drug related, the writer needs to focus on the clean lifestyle and any rehabilitation the person has undergone. This may require proof or documentation.
The letter should clearly state the relationship the writer has with their friend or relative. A judge or parole officer will want to know how long the writer has known the person. It should state that he or she knows the person well, or it may not be taken seriously.
If the writer knew the person at the time of the crime, it should be stated because it gives more credibility to the writer if he or she knew the person when they committed the crime and throughout their rehabilitation.
The letter needs to give specific ways in which the person has been rehabilitated. It’s not enough to say he or she is a good person or he or she has changed a lot. The letter must give concrete examples with details that prove the person has changed.
This may include any volunteer work the person does to help the community or a local charity. This will support the idea that the person is contributes to society and is no longer a threat.
Below is a sample reference for expungement letter. It should be written in formal business letter format and address to the proper person. It is the writers responsibility to find out to whom the letter should be addressed. It may be the judge who oversees the case. If so, the judge should be addresses as Judge LAST NAME.
The letter should be professionally written with correct grammar and spelling. If it is sloppy, it will not be taken seriously. It is recommended to have a knowledgeable person check the letter for mistakes.
Sample Letter of Reference for Expungement
Name of Writer Address of Writer City, State, Zip Code
The Honorable Judge FIRST NAME LAST NAME Address of Judge City, State, Zip Code
RE: Letter of reference for expungement
Dear Judge LAST NAME:
This letter is a formal reference letter to request to have the court expunge the criminal record of Name of Person. I have known Name of Person since his birth as I attended college with his mother and was a Maid of Honor in her wedding. He is requesting that a felony conviction for possession of cocaine twelve years ago be expunged from his record as it is negatively impacting all of his job applications because of criminal background checks.
He served a jail term of 18 months and has had no further problems with drugs or the law. He considers his conviction the result of youthful carelessness and has no intention of being in any way involved with illegal drugs in the future.
After he was released from prison, he attended community college and received a diploma in network administration. However, whenever he applies for a job, they refuse because he has a criminal record.
I have watched him these last 10 years improve his life and would like to help him get the second chance he deserves. If you have any questions, I can be reached at Phone Number or at Email Address.
Thank you in advance for considering my request.
Sincerely, Signature of Writer Printed Name of Writer