What is a Proffer?
Hi, Tyson Mutrux here again with the Mutrux Law Firm and today I’m answering the question, “What is a proffer?”
Proffer is something that’s often confused with a confession. It’s typically used in federal cases. We have had proffers in state courts before. But it’s not a confession. What it is, is you’re meeting with the government, usually a district attorney, or an assistant U.S. attorney is what they’re called. Or maybe if it’s state court it will be the prosecuting attorney. You’re telling the state, or the government what you know about the case. Obviously you will be the defendant in the case, but you will be telling them what you know, and what witnesses you know about.
The good thing for you is, 1) you’re getting cooperation credits from the government, which if you know anything about sensing guidelines which we’ve covered in another video, those are very key. You’re getting credit from the government. You also have immunity, so you’re getting complete immunity to crimes that you discuss, that you may have committed, and you discuss this with the government. Unless the government already knows about them, you have complete immunity. So that’s fantastic for you. It’s a good way for you to tell what you know without any concerns of being charged with additional crimes. So from that point forward, once you tell them about that, they can’t come back and charge you with those crimes.
So it is a great technique to 1) aid in your defense to getting a very good plea deal, and also 2) you get immunity to any other past crimes that you may have committed. So, it’s really good deal. It’s not always optimal to do. If you’re going to try the case and you’re saying that you’re innocent, you’re not going to be doing a proffer. You are going to be maintaining your fifth amendment right not to testify, not to make any statements, and you’re going to go for more. But if you are in fact guilty of the crime and you want to work out a plea deal, then a proffer a lot of times is a very good option for you.