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How Does Cooperating with the Federal Government Work?

July 8, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Should you find yourself being charged with a federal criminal offense, you will likely want to know more about the legal options available to you. In the event that you’ve been accused of a crime and you have information about someone else, you may be interested in trading that knowledge for a more favorable outcome. In some situations, cooperating with the federal government is a sensible approach to your case.  Nevertheless, there are potential consequences that you need to be aware of before deciding to speak openly with the government. Your federal attorney will give you sound legal advice on this and other situations, which will help you make these critical decisions in the early stages of your case, setting you up to receive the best available result in your federal criminal matter.

Pleading Guilty to Cooperate in a Federal Criminal Case

In the majority of judicial districts, you are required to plead guilty if you wish to take advantage of the benefits that come with cooperating with the federal government. They wouldn’t want to be working with you and against you at the same time. Regrettably, cooperating with the federal government does not automatically mean that you are sure to avoid time behind bars or even get a more favorable sentence. In the event that you are unable to provide the government with enough information to lock up someone else, you won’t get anything for your information and your guilty plea. Every district handles cooperation in a different way, so it’s important to work with a seasoned defense attorney before you decide whether or not you want to take a chance and work with the government.

Cooperating with the Federal Government: The Benefits

If you do have enough information to help them put a guilty person behind bars, then pleading guilty and cooperating with the government may be a recommended course of action for you. Your attorney will review all of the evidence you have to assist you in determine if it’s enough to get you a more favorable sentence from the government before you negotiate.  This approach will protect you from the possibility of being trapped inside of an unfavorable arrangement without receiving any reward for your cooperation. This evaluation is extremely critical, because you don’t want to agree to give up anything you have before you know what you’ll get in return. 

Different areas around the country handle cooperation differently. Your attorney will be able to inform you of the way in which your district approaches it and will share more information with you about the incentives that are available for cooperation. If you successfully help the government acapture someone else, you might be able to get yourself a significant sentence reduction, potentially keeping you out of jail completely. Don’t trust what federal agents tell you.  Get yourself an experienced attorney to stand up for your rights. Your lawyers should have experience with cooperation options and be equipped to provide you sound counsel.




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