A proffer is a written agreement between federal prosecutors and a person under criminal investigation where the person agrees to give helpful information to the government in exchange for assurances of non-prosecution, lesser charges, or immunity. Under the terms of the proffer agreement, the information given during the session cannot be used directly against the person providing it, although such information, of course, can and will be used to develop additional evidence against the remaining defendants. Proffer agreements are used mostly in white collar investigations to find cooperating witnesses, to negotiate plea agreements, and to corroborate how crimes were committed.
Proffer agreements have been nicknamed “Queen for a Day” agreements because the person offering information is the center of attention. A subject (someone who might be indicted) or target (someone who is likely to be indicted) of an investigation is interviewed by prosecutors, with your attorney present, about what you know about the participants and transactions under criminal investigation. The idea is to preview your knowledge of the criminal enterprise so that a non-prosecution, plea deal, or grant of immunity can be negotiated to your benefit while the government gets insight into the crimes and perpetrators.
However, proffer sessions require the advice of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney in order to protect your rights.
What will you offer?
Any person entering into a proffer agreement must decide with the advice of counsel what information will be offered with a full understanding of the impact of any disclosures and refusals to disclose.
What do you want?
In exchange for this information, you and your attorney should discuss exactly what you want out of the agreement and what you are likely to get from the specific prosecutor assigned to the case. Only experienced counsel can help make these assessments as to what is a realistic outcome.
The government gets a lot from a proffer agreement. In addition to information that can lead to additional evidence and implicate other defendants, prosecutors can assess your viability as a witness. Later if you do testify at trial, anything you said in the proffer session that you contradict or forget on the stand can be used to impeach you.
What is a reverse proffer agreement?
A reverse proffer is when the prosecutor shows you and your attorney the evidence it has gathered that implicates you in a crime in order to persuade you to plead guilty or become a cooperating witness.
Talk to a skilled criminal defense lawyer
Even if you are under investigation or have already been arrested, you have the right to legal counsel. Don’t forgo that right. Call (305) 403-7323 or reach out to attorney Nayib Hassan online to discuss your case and your needs.