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Is a proffer necessarily an in-person conference or can it sometimes be in writing, or over the phone?

Los Angeles, CA |

Is a proffer necessarily an in-person conference or can it sometimes be in writing, or over the phone? Do prosecutors invite all witnesses with limited criminal culpability to proffers?

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Attorney answers 2


I am not certain what you mean by "proffer." My understanding is that it means simply an "offer of proof." In that context, the offer of proof is usually orally conveyed by defense counsel.

In the context of a plea bargain, it should be reduced to a signed, written agreement or put on the record prior to disclosure of the offered evidence. In many cases, the proffer may result in an agreement short of what defense counsel would ideally want, i.e., you may just have to trust the prosecutor. That is when professional relationships are important and when you really need to trust your attorney.

Proffers are always welcomed by prosecutors. Whether a prosecutor will respond with a more favorable plea bargain depends.

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A federal proffer or "queen for a day" session is typically attended IN PERSON by the person under investigation ("profferor"), their lawyer, investigating agents and a federal prosecutor after a proffer letter is sent by the government to the profferor representing that incriminating words spoken at the session will not be used against the profferor. They're designed to give the government a taste of what they might get in exchange for a deal. You should not do this without representation.

California attorney Sarkis Jacob Babachanian handles criminal defense, personal injury, civil litigation and bankruptcy (ch. 7) matters in the greater Los Angeles area. To discuss possible representation, feel free to phone Mr. Babachanian at 818-500-0678 or email him at The information provided is as a public courtesy only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Only a formal written agreement establishes an attorney-client relationship. In criminal cases, speak with nobody except privately with an attorney about your case facts. In personal injury cases, all cases are governed by statutes of limitation which create deadlines to bring your case, and if you miss the deadline(s) you risk forever losing your rights.