Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys

Have you been offered immunity for your testimony?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Federal Crimes

Imagine this scenario. Prosecutors are hoping to take down the top boss of the crew from a recent drug bust. You have been arrested as an accomplice on lesser charges. However, you have been offered immunity from the state prosecutor if you testify against your boss.

Sometimes, immunity is granted in order to obtain an alleged offender’s eyewitness testimony and use it as evidence against a more serious perpetrator. If this situation applies to you, this means that you will almost certainly have to testify for the prosecution. In exchange, the charges against you may be dropped or reduced.

How does immunity work?

The only people who may grant immunity are federal or state prosecutors. Either a formal order from the judge, a written agreement or an oral agreement can be used to make the offer to you via your defense attorney. There are two types of immunity that they can offer:

  1. Transactional immunity is also known as total immunity. This means that your testimony will be compensated with full immunity from prosecution. In other words, even if you were a part of the crime, you would not be prosecuted. However, the benefits of transactional immunity are not unlimited. The immunity offer only applies to the specific offenses listed in the agreement or court ruling. You may still face prosecution if it becomes known that you were involved in a different aspect of the crime.
  2. Use and derivative use immunity offers a witness some protection against being prosecuted. You will not be called to testify in court, and your confession cannot be used against you. Use and derivative use immunities are subject to restrictions. If it comes out that you violated your immunity order or committed perjury, you may still face charges.

If you have been arrested for a state or federal offense and have been offered immunity for your testimony, you should seek assistance with your case as soon as possible.