My advice is not to do anything until speaking with a criminal defense attorney. Only after speaking with a competent criminal defense attorney can a person decide whether cooperation is the right defense strategy. Usually, a person does not even have to make that decision right away, the decision to cooperate can always be made later. First, it may make sense to obtain all the discovery in the case from the government, including all the incriminating and exculpatory evidence, to which a defendant is entitled by law. After carefully reviewing all the discovery the defendant can decide on cooperation.
Sometimes it makes sense to cooperate immediately after arrest, especially when it is obvious to an individual that he or she is not going to trial or has no intention of litigating the case. The government may have seized the suspect’s computer or is in possession of other incriminating evidence. In situations where the defendant starts cooperating immediately after arrest, the chances of getting the maximum reduction in any potential sentence due to his cooperation greatly increase.
Law enforcement and prosecutors understand that after arrest a person is scared and has no idea what is going on, as he or she has never been in such a situation before. This is especially true of foreign nationals who have never been to the United States or dealt with its criminal justice system. As a result, defendants often start communicating with law enforcement soon after arrest, in the false belief that they can improve their situation by explaining what happened or their side of the story. Nothing can be further from the truth; an arrested suspect can almost never improve his or her situation by speaking with the police or the prosecutor. In fact, the opposite is true since by talking individual locks himself or herself into a story, or defense strategy, which he or she will not be able to easily change during the trial.
In conclusion, it is still possible to get a greatly reduced sentence even if a person decides to wait before starting to cooperate. Therefore, sometimes the best strategy is to wait to review the Discovery before deciding on cooperation. This will allow a defendant to understand what kind of case the government has; I have seen cases where the government greatly exaggerates or overestimate the strength of its case. Sometimes during interviews with suspects or defendants, law enforcement uses fake props to make the person believe that the case against them is very strong, something Courts have approved as constitutional. Do not ever be scared of waiting before making that decision, review the discovery, and then if the government truly has a good case against you, you can decide whether to cooperate and cut a plea deal or go to trial.
Can my Attorney Ensure That My Company Preserves Records That Could Help My Defense?
There are a few things that an attorney can do, including sending a letter to the company to inform them that litigation is expected and requesting that certain records are preserved. In addition, an attorney can request that a third party provides documents or information relevant to litigation, which is done by an attorney subpoena. There are two types of subpoenas that an attorney can serve, one involving private parties or businesses, and one involving government or public entities. Subpoenas served upon a private entity can be drafted and served by the attorney, refusing to comply with such a subpoena may result in fines and jail. Subpoena requesting information or documentation from a government agency often requires Court approval and necessitates the filing of a motion explaining to the court the basis for the subpoena and giving the affected parties a chance to oppose it.
For more information on what should be considered before cooperating with authorities, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (718) 989-2908 today.