Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 18th October 2023, 09:01 am
So you got yourself into some legal trouble, and the prosecution wants you to come in for a proffer session. Don’t panic! With some preparation, you can get through it. I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to prepare for a proffer.
Here’s what you need to do to get ready:
First things first – talk to your lawyer! Do not go into a proffer session without experienced criminal defense counsel by your side. Here are some things your lawyer can help with:
Your lawyer is key to getting the best deal possible while protecting your rights. So have plenty of discussions with them to create a strategy before you sit down with the prosecution.
It should go without saying – but be 100% truthful in your proffer session. One lie could ruin your credibility and any chance of a deal. Admit what you did wrong, but don’t exaggerate or make up anything to sound more cooperative. Stick to the facts. Your lawyer can help you walk the line between providing useful information and not self-incriminating.
It’s a good idea to do a dry run before the real thing. Have your lawyer conduct a mock proffer session to practice answering questions. Listen to their advice on how to present your information. Having a dress rehearsal will help get your testimony polished and your nerves under control. You’ll come across as poised and credible in the actual proffer.
Now it’s time for the main event. Here are some tips to keep in mind during the session:
Don’t deviate from the script you prepared with your lawyer. The prosecution may try to trip you up or pressure you into saying something incriminating. Stick to your guns and repeat the facts as you previously discussed them. If you get flustered or feel like you’re rambling, ask for a break to collect your thoughts. Your lawyer can help get you back on track.
Only provide information you know first-hand. Don’t guess at details you’re unsure about or speculate about other people’s involvement. Give factual statements about what you saw, did or heard. If you don’t know the answer to a question, simply say so. Don’t make up responses to seem cooperative. That will only cast doubt on your credibility.
If you don’t understand a question, ask the prosecutor to clarify or rephrase it. Don’t try to read between the lines or make assumptions. Only answer exactly what you’re asked. Your lawyer can also jump in to object if they think a question is unclear, misleading or inappropriate.
Proffer sessions can feel intense, with the prosecution grilling you about details of the case. Do your best to stay calm and focused. Getting defensive or losing your cool will only make you seem less credible. Take a sip of water if you need to pause and collect yourself. Let your lawyer handle any contentious interactions with the prosecution.
Once you make it through the proffer, then what? Here are some key things to keep in mind:
Your lawyer should go over the transcript of the proffer with you. Make sure your testimony is accurately recorded. Clarify anything that may have been transcribed incorrectly. Also review your testimony to see if you misspoke about any facts. You’ll want to correct the record quickly by informing your lawyer and the prosecution.
Hopefully your proffer results in a cooperation agreement with the prosecution. This will spell out what benefits you receive in return for your cooperation. Make sure you fully comply with the terms. If you backtrack on the information provided or fail to testify as promised, the deal could be revoked. So stick closely to what you agreed to – your freedom depends on it!
Be very careful talking about your case with anyone other than your lawyer after the proffer. Don’t say anything that contradicts your proffer testimony. Assume that anything you say, write or post could potentially be used against you. Keep quiet about the details and let your lawyer do the talking.
The most important takeaway here is – get an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help with your proffer! This is not something you want to navigate alone. The right guidance can make all the difference in getting a fair resolution. Don’t wait to seek legal counsel. The sooner you start strategizing, the better.
Now you’ve got this! Just stay cool and stick to the script during your proffer. And remember – the truth shall set you free ;).
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