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I had my cup of tea ready and my door closed, all set to read through the apology letters I had for sentence matters coming up in the Local Court.
A few sips of tea later and it hit me: I’ve read these words before! I moved from that letter onto the next and there the words were again: “I am writing this letter to express my sincere remorse for my irresponsible and dangerous actions…”
I checked the remaining references in front of me and low and behold, four out of the six started off with that same line. These four very different people couldn’t all have thought to start their letters to the court with the same line, they must have read it somewhere, but where?
I checked whether it was in the information that I had provided them with: No.
I looked through a Traffic Offenders Program handbook to see if it was suggested there: No.
I then Googled “How to write an apology letter for court” and Bingo! The first few hits were all guides providing examples of sentences, and in some cases whole paragraphs, that could be used in an apology letter. Among them was the magic opening line.
Here’s the thing: If a lawyer who looks at six apology letters on a busy day can work out who has written their own and who has copied from the internet, it is absolutely certain that a Magistrate, who sees many times that in a day let alone a week, is bound to have noticed the trend.
I understand the temptation to look for help when writing an apology letter. But the purpose of the letter is to show the Magistrate how you feel about offending, and if the words that you use aren’t your own then not only does it not achieve that purpose, it actually suggests to the Magistrate that you don’t care. I can promise you this doesn’t impress!
If you have to write an apology letter to the court I would recommend that you first look at this page which is designed to help you express your real feelings in your own words. If you still struggle, speak to you lawyer for personal assistance.
I wish to express my sincere remorse for my irresponsible and dangerous actions of putting a stop to cutting corners… Does it sound like I’m sorry?
Image Credit – Ivan Kruk © 123RF.com
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