FOLLOW US :
212-300-5196

White Glove Service. Excellent Results. Strong Reputation.

Read Our Reviews

How Does Cooperating with the Federal Government Work?

What Happens If You Cooperate With the Federal Government
Are you facing federal drug charges? If so, you can potentially reduce your sentence or be granted immunity from prosecution by exposing the criminal activities that you and your accomplices are being charged with.

Whether it’s accomplice testimony, becoming an informant or turning state’s evidence, you’ll be “telling” on your collaborators. You’ll become a snitch.

Although sharing key information with law enforcement can help to reduce your sentence, there’s no guarantee. Generally speaking, the more compelling your information, the better the deal you’ll be offered.

Your testimony is just one piece of evidence among many. To bring about a conviction, there must be substantial evidence to corroborate your testimony. Remember that any testimony you provide can be used against you at your own trial.

Snitching is like a plea bargain. You have information that can help the prosecution build a case. However, the prosecutor must determine whether your involvement will help the case or hurt it.

Is It Worthwhile to Become a Government Informant?

It depends. If you chose that option, have your lawyer initiate the process as soon as possible following your arrest.

Turning state’s evidence is a serious legal decision that will impact the outcome of your case and the quality of your future. This is especially true with federal drug court cases.

The most important consideration is your safety and that of your family. You’ll be endangering the lives of your friends and business partners, after all. A dismissal of charges is pointless if you’re no longer around to enjoy it.

If you feel guilty about turning on your partners in crime and setting them up for a fall, cooperating with the government may not be your cup of tea.

You might have ethical concerns about the deception involved in being a government informant. Some federal informants have reported losing faith in the legal system in particular and in human relationships in general.

When Should I Get On Board?

It might seem better to wait until the government shows its hand before you offer anything in return. Only if the situation seems dire will most criminals consider turning state’s evidence. However, waiting to play that card is a bad idea.

An option to cooperate will usually be offered when you initially arrive at the police after being arrested. If you agree to cooperate right off the bat, only your lawyer and the authorities will know you’ve been arrested. If your arrest becomes known, your value as an informer will be negligible.

If your case involves multiple co-defendants, you should be one of the first to agree to cooperate. If you wait until the last minute, the authorities will have gotten most of what they need from your accomplices, and you’ll have no cards left to play.

What Happens After I Sign Up?

During a debriefing session, federal agents will question you about information they already have to determine how much you know. They also use this strategy to evaluate your truthfulness.

After you are debriefed, your lawyer will secure a proffer letter. That document ensures that nothing you disclosed in the debriefing session can be used as evidence against you.

If you know nothing or you lie about what you know, the session will be terminated. If the debriefing session is fruitful, a series of intelligence-gathering meetings will take place. You might be asked to arrange controlled buys from other suspected criminals.

What Are the Benefits of Cooperation?

The federal government generously rewards those who cooperate. Prior to sentencing, the prosecution will file a motion under Sec. 5K1.1 United States Sentencing Guidelines for a reduced sentence or a waiver of the statutory minimum mandatory penalty. This motion can only be made by the prosecutor, and the amount of penalty reduction will vary from case to case.

What Are the Risks of Cooperation?

Turning state’s evidence is not a quick fix for a criminal past. The defendants are often dangerous and unpredictable, and the government cannot provide 24/7 security service for life.

Prosecutors can maintain the confidentiality of their witnesses, so informers do have some protection under the law. However, the identity of an informant can be learned. Defense attorneys can make a motion to compel the prosecutors to disclose an informant’s identity.

Nevertheless, the federal government must protect its informants by maintaining their safety. If the situation warrants it, snitches may be placed in the Witness Protection Program (WPP). According to the U.S. Marshals, not one WPP participant has ever been harmed.

Informants receive a new identity and are geographically relocated. In most cases, simply protecting the identity of an informant and acting swiftly to crush threats is enough.

Snitches have been injured or killed, family members have been shot at and houses have gone up in flames. At the same time, prison life for a snitch may be the most dangerous option of all.

Have you have been charged with a federal drug-related crime? Do you have information that can help the prosecution win its case? If you’re willing to share what you know with the authorities, consult a federal criminal drug attorney as quickly as possible and before taking any action.

Attorneys must preserve your confidentiality under the attorney-client privilege. Tell your lawyer what you know, and find out whether turning state’s evidence would help or hinder your case.

References:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/walterpavlo/2012/09/28/the-life-of-a-cooperating-witness-rewards-and-perils/?sh=70ea00105bee
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/14/jailhouse-informants-for-sale/1762013/
https://www.findlaw.com/legalblogs/criminal-defense/can-snitching-reduce-your-sentence/

Home

Ethical Issues in the Use of Confidential Informants for Narcotic Operations


https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=613521
https://law.jrank.org/pages/10486/State-s-Evidence.html
https://www.cnn.com/2013/02/16/justice/witness-protection-program/index.html
https://innocenceproject.org/informing-injustice/


FREE CONSULTATION

Testimonials

Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We provide superior service, excellent results, at a level superior to other criminal defense law firms. Regardless of where your case is, nationwide, we can help you.



Hear From Our Clients

"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

Rowlin Garcia

"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

Francis Anim
Read Our Reviews
Get In Touch

Schedule Your Consultation

Los Angeles

555 W 5th St 35th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013

212-300-5196



get directions

Queens

35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106

212-300-5196



get directions

NYC

85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004

212-300-5196



get directions

Brooklyn

195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

212-300-5196



get directions

    By filing out the contact form you give us permission to send you email in the future. We will send you emails about scheduling a risk free consultation and other marketing emails in the future. You can unsubscribe at any time by sending us an email requesting to opt-out.
Call Us