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Proffer Agreements And Immunity: When To Take The Deal

If you’ve been charged with a crime that carries penalties of 25 years or more in prison, you may find the prosecutor offers you to come in under the terms of a proffer agreement, also known as “queen for a day.”

“Queen for a day? Sounds luxurious.”

It’s not.

Get the images of plush furniture, cold drinks and servants out of your head, and replace them with a sterile conference room, creaky chairs, a faux-wood table and a note taker with a pocket-protector. Queen for a day isn’t regal at all, but it could be the difference in you walking free after a reasonable period of time or spending the next few decades behind bars.

A proffer agreement is an agreement between a federal prosecutor (Assistant United States Attorney) and a prospective criminal defendant. The purpose from the defendant’s perspective is to obtain immunity or leniency in exchange for providing information about larger crimes they are aware of. The purpose from the federal prosecutor’s perspective is to get a preview of the information the defendant may be able to provide.

Should You “Make A Proffer”?

Every situation is different. There are times where seeking immunity or leniency via proffer agreement is a no-brainer, and there are times where the potential benefit is negligible and not worth giving up the opportunity to fight for a not guilty at trial. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer negotiating the terms of a potential proffer agreement and providing you with information about your options is the best way to make sure your interests are served by the eventual outcome.

In Raleigh and throughout North Carolina, that attorney can be found right here at Roberts Law Group, PLLC. Patrick Roberts is a former prosecutor who knows these issues from both sides of the table. Contact us today to request a consultation.

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