When It is Advisable to Cooperate with the Government and Provide Information

When It is Advisable to Cooperate with the Government and Provide Information

Making the choice to cooperate with the government and provide information is a critical decision and must be made with caution and proper guidance.

First, understand that any statements you make can be later used against you. Before deciding to cooperate with the authorities, make sure you thoroughly explore all of your options and understand the likely outcomes of cooperating versus defending yourself.

Second, a skilled white collar criminal defense attorney can properly investigate your case prior to (or immediately after) charges are filed and give you an assessment of your chances at trial. If success at trial is not likely or too risky for other reasons, cooperating with the government may be advisable.

When It is Advisable to Cooperate with the Government and Provide Information

Every criminal case is unique and fact-specific. Depending on the facts of your case and the evidence against you it may or may not be advisable to cooperate with the government. Here are just a few things to consider:

  • Prosecutors may seek cooperation early, and in cases with multiple defendants those who cooperate first may receive the best plea bargains.
  • Are there prospective co-conspirators in the case against you? If so, consider the likelihood of those persons being identified and/or the likelihood of them striking a plea deal first.
  • Consider if you made potentially incriminating statements prior to being represented by an attorney. After statements are made to the government the likelihood of success at trial is diminished.
  • To get the benefits of a plea agreement, you are required to enter a guilty plea. Consider how having a criminal record affect you and your job prospects in the future.
  • Does the crime you are charged with come with mandatory minimum sentences if convicted? If so, is rolling the dice at trial worth the risk of that sentence, or is entering into a plea agreement with a known punishment more advisable?

This list of things to consider is not exhaustive. As we noted above, every case is unique and an attorney cannot adequately make a recommendation regarding cooperation until she’s conducted a thorough investigation of the allegations pending against you.

It is Always Advisable To Have Your Attorney Present

Do not talk to law enforcement officers or anyone from the prosecutor’s office without your attorney present. Have a criminal defense attorney with you:

  • During all plea discussions.
  • To negotiate the terms of your plea agreement.
  • To advise you on whether accepting an offered plea agreement is in your best interest.
  • To advise you on the risks and benefits of going to trial versus accepting a plea agreement.

If you choose to cooperate with the government and provide information, your attorney can advocate on your behalf and ensure your rights are protected.

Hire A Former Prosecutor to Defend You

Ashley D. Adams is a former fraud prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office. She understands how prosecutors operate, the best tactics to negotiate a favorable plea agreement, and how to get criminal charges dropped or dropped to lesser charges.

Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 for a consultation and case evaluation.

We practice excellence, one client at a time.


Our firm handles state criminal cases throughout Arizona and federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.