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Stopping the Train Before It Leaves the Station: Convincing Prosecutors Not to Charge Your Client
By Jon May
There are two kinds of overtures made to prosecutors pre-indictment. The first is: “Ok, you got my client, but this is what he can do for you,” and its cousin: “She didn’t do exactly what you think she did … but this is what she can do for you.” The second is: “I know you and your agents are convinced my client is guilty, but I want to show you why I believe a jury would acquit.” Skill is involved in advancing either message, and the difference between an artful presentation and an inartful one can determine whether the client avoids prison entirely or spends the rest of his life behind bars.
This article does not address how best to negotiate a deal with the government. Much has been written on that subject. How best to convince prosecutors not to charge people already targets of their investigation, however, remains pretty much uncharted territory. To protect the identities of their clients, lawyers who have been there have not written about their experiences. But in this
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