Many individuals call our office after they are arrested and tell us they are already working with the police to have their pending charge dismissed.
As a criminal defense attorney I am always shocked to hear this and immediately concerned.
The normal process for a proffer or cooperation with the police is not to immediately go out with police officers to help them make arrests or even make telephone calls to give them leads for future arrests. The process must include an accused's attorney (the criminal defense attorney) and the District Attorney's Office.
I have heard stories of a drug arrest and the detectives tell the accused that the only way they will be released on bail or have a "good word" put in with the DA's office is if they cooperate with setting up other people for an arrest. What the police officers are doing is taking advantage of the accused's fears and desire to "make everything go away." While it sounds promising without the input from a criminal defense attorney this is not recommended.
Police Officers will lie to achieve their goals and a handshake or a promise without the assistance of a criminal defense attorney does not have to be honored.
The usual process is for the criminal defense attorney to contact the District Attorney's Office to determine what extent of cooperation is necessary and when the cooperation will end. After this conversation or meeting with the District Attorney's office an accused may work with police officers to "work off" an arrest.
It is never advisable to work with the police or speak with the District Attorney's office without the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. An accused may be waiving valuable rights or putting themselves in danger without all of the necessary information to determine if this is a good legal strategy.
A client of the firm was told by a Westchester County local police department that if she helped the police the same night she was arrested the police would make sure she was only charged with a drug possession misdemeanor as opposed to a felony charge. She cooperated and her cooperation resulted in the arrest of two individuals. She was then processed by the police department and charged with a felony and held without bail. A better strategy is to get a criminal defense attorney involved to help facilitate any cooperation between the police and the District Attorney's Office.
Nothing is so urgent that one does not have an opportunity to speak with a lawyer.
If you or someone you loved is charged with a crime and is working with law enforcement or is considering working with law enforcement it is very important to hire a top criminal defense lawyer. Our firm can advise if cooperation is necessary or useful and can help protect your rights.
We have over 50 years of combined experience defending and protecting our client's rights and we have proven case results.
Call us today for a consultation (914) 946-4808.