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Cooperation comes about in one of two ways; either the government approaches me, the lawyer, and asks whether my client would be interested in cooperation. Sometimes, in fact, a client has already started cooperating before I even meet them because they were cooperating with the arresting authorities. Other times a client may ask during the process of representation whether they can cooperate and what the benefits would be and then I approach the prosecutors and discuss it with them. And the way it works is my client will then, with me, go in and meet with the prosecutors and the agents in charge of the prosecution and we’ll essentially talk about everything the government wants to know. And the government will then decide whether the person A) is being honest and B) is able to provide them substantial assistance, because they will only engage in cooperation with a person if the person can provide substantial assistance to them. If the person can, then a cooperation agreement is signed, the person pleads guilty, and the cooperation continues and it may include testifying and those kinds of things at trial if a trial comes about. And then ultimately, they receive the benefit of that cooperation at sentencing.
New York white collar criminal defense attorney, Florian Miedel, explains how to cooperate with law enforcement.