How Does Cooperating With The Federal Government Work?
When one is facing charges or is under investigation for a particular crime, an option to co-operate with the federal government can come in different forms and result in a much-needed relief. One of the forms of federal government cooperation is whereby an accused person gets into an agreement with the government that they will give information that the government needs in exchange for no charges in a court of law. Another form is whereby an individual cooperates with the government so that the charges they are facing can be reduced.
Although the government does not in many cases promise benefits, there are cases where persons are granted immunity for them to provide information. For instance, if you are accused of committing one crime but that crime exposes you to another crime, the government may offer immunity that by agreeing that you committed the first crime you will not be pursued for the second crime. A good example is where you are accused of fraud, and such a case raises issues of your involvement in tax-evasion. In such a scenario, the government might agree to give you immunity for tax evasion in exchange for your testimony in involvement in the fraud.
Is it wise to co-operate with the government
In cases of federal criminal charges, the issue of cooperation with the government arises typically. On matters of cooperation in federal criminal cases, there are a lot of misconceptions that exist. Cooperation with the federal government is mainly used by persons accused of a crime to provide information to the government towards others who might have been involved in the crime, with the intention of reducing their own charges and time. However, one important thing that people needs to understand is that cooperation with the government does not guarantee that you will not serve a jail term.
Benefits of cooperation with the federal government
For one to undertake cooperation with the federal government, one must begin by pleading guilty to the charges fronted against them. There is no way that you can be trying to work with the government while at the same time you are fighting against it. So, if you intend to enjoy the benefits of a federal government corporation, you must be ready to plead guilty first.
Another thing that people need to understand is that federal government corporation does not in any way mean that you’ll be getting jail free card. In most cases, when you agree to cooperate with the government, you agree to help the government apprehend someone else who will, in turn, go to jail while you might enjoy a reduction of your sentencing. In some cases, the reduction might be significant to the extent that you might not go to prison at all. However, this mainly depends with jurisdiction you are sentenced under. There are some jurisdictions whereby even after agreeing to the federal cooperation, you must serve a small prison sentencing.
In some jurisdictions, agreeing to cooperate with the federal government does not mean that you will enjoy credit even if you do not help them to arrest someone. The government can still use the guilty plea to pursue full sentencing in case you do not provide them with relevant information that will help in apprehending the main culprits.
Matters to do with cooperation with the federal government do not make sense to everyone. Some people will consider it a wise decision while others will keep off completely. If you decide to co-operate, you must ensure that you go in and tell everything you know about a crime that you participated in committing. Failure to do this can lead to self-incrimination.
Why you need an attorney
If you believe that indeed you have information that can help the government to put culprits of crime behind bars, you should go ahead and consider cooperation. However, you should do this with the help of a federal crimes attorney who will scrutinize the evidence you have and determine if it is sufficient to get a bargaining power with the government. An evaluation by an attorney is important since it prevents you from talking before you understand what you might get in return. Since cooperation with the federal government works differently in different locations, it is important to have an attorney who understands the laws of the jurisdictions you are charged under.