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Substantial Assistance The Key To Freedom
By Mark P. Rankin, Rachel R. May
Representing a Cooperating Defendant in Federal Court
Your new client, Danny, has been charged with what is, in the eyes of
the Justice Department and Congress, one of the most heinous of crimes,
for which he faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison. Terrorism?
Nope. Carjacking? Nah. Murder?! Not quite. He’s been charged with
selling 5 kilograms of powder cocaine to an undercover DEA agent. Where
normally he would face a minimum 10-year stay in federal prison, a prior
felony drug conviction (for which he served probation) doubles that —
and since he had an unloaded gun in his pocket at the time, he faces 5
years of consecutive time.1 Danny, a 22-year-old kid who has
never spent so much as a day in county jail, now faces the prospect of
tasting freedom again when he is his father’s age. He is petrified and
As always, you have explored every avenue of defense. Unfortunately, the
drug sale is on crystal-clear videotape — as is Danny’s voluntar
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