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Should I cooperate with the Feds in Jacksonville?

Answer:

No, you should not. I wrote about this subject, generally, back in June of 2014, where I discussed the pros and cons of cooperating with prosecutors in order to get a better deal. Based on my recent experience, however, I am now firmly of the opinion, as a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, that cooperation, or informing on your friends and co-defendants in order to get a better deal, is a waste of time and counterproductive in in Jacksonville.

Is a plea agreement an enforceable contract?

Answer:

Yes, it is. Most criminal cases end in plea bargains. These plea agreements are contracts. Once signed, the obligations of the agreement must be honored. The accused agrees to plead guilty and give up certain rights, such as the right to appeal to a higher court. And the prosecutor agrees to a certain reduced sentence so that the accused knows what he getting. The judge, however, is not bound by this agreement and can reject it. What happens when the prosecutor argues to the judge that the agreed upon sentence is too lenient? This should never happen with a plea agreement, right? Unfortunately, as a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, I have seen prosecutors who have attempted to do this.

Should I cooperate with the prosecutors to get a better plea deal?

Answer:

The decision to become a government informant or a cooperating witness (or a snitch, as they would say on the street) is one of the most difficult decisions for a defendant to make. As a Jacksonville criminal attorney, I have often seen this decision hastily made, sometimes without the input of counsel, leading to disastrous results. The biggest problem with becoming a government informant, whether on the State or Federal side, is that you must put your trust in the prosecutor and hope he or she does the right thing by you. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.

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