How A Letter From Your Therapist May Help In Your Criminal Case

In some cases clients may be getting therapy or Counseling for conditions relevant to their case. In these situations it may be helpful to have the professional write a letter so the attorney can present it to the DA and/or Judge for purposes of resolving the case. Here is some guidance on what the letter should contain:

Address the letter to Attorney Matthew Ruff or “To Whom It May Concern”.   The letter should be on official letterhead and signed by the provider.

First, everything in the letter should be positive. Outline how many sessions the person participated in and give some depth to the specific areas that were focused on in the sessions and how long the sessions were. The theme of the letter should be that the patient had or has a problem, they sought out help and the professional treated that individual with an eye towards preventing the incident to recur. Emphasis should be made that there is little or no likelihood of the client re-offending.  Furthermore, the incident for which treatment was obtained was isolated, the root cause of the conduct has been treated and there is little chance that the conduct will recur.

Outline how the sessions gave the client skills to cope with whatever triggered the event and how the Counseling or therapy should prevent similar conduct in the future. The idea is that we want to convey to the DA and the Court that the client responded well to treatment and now has a greater chance staying out of trouble and engaging in similar conduct down the road.

Ideally, the letter should not contain anything negative that would concern the reader that the client has serious problems. If the provider has specific concerns they should be addressed with the lawyer prior to writing the letter. Also, unless the attorney specifically asks for it, the letter should not recommend future sessions or long term treatment even if that is the plan in your case.  The purpose of most letters, within the context of resolving a criminal case,  is to provide information about past treatment and the success of that therapy.  Of course, any requirements for future sessions will be made by a Judge in the underlying case. 

In some cases the therapist will express reservations about writing a letter due to patient privacy rights.  It is important to understand that the letter is being used with the express consent of the patient to assist in a favorable resolution to the Court case.  Since the letter is being provided to the criminal defense attorney in the case any and all Doctor/Patient privileges are waived.

If you require any additional information contact the attorney.  Matthew Ruff is a Top Tier Criminal Defense Attorney in Torrance California with over 25 years experience fighting and winning complex charges.  

About thetorranceattorney

Matthew Ruff is a Torrance criminal defense attorney located near the 405 freeway on Crenshaw Blvd. Focusing on DUI and serious criminal cases for over twenty five years. In addition to criminal cases, Matthew also defends clients at the DMV regarding license suspension hearings stemming from drunk driving arrests.
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1 Response to How A Letter From Your Therapist May Help In Your Criminal Case

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