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Could transactional or use immunity keep you out of prison?

| Sep 17, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

You have an addiction, and you got caught with drugs — and now you’re worried that you’re going to lose your job, your home, your family and your freedom.

Luckily for you, the prosecutor is willing to offer you immunity in exchange for some information you have about your dealer and their enterprise as a whole — whether that dealer is a guy operating out of a shady part of town or a doctor operating a “pill mill” in the suburbs.

What does this mean? It depends on the kind of immunity prosecutors offer you.

Why would a prosecutor be willing to offer you immunity?

Essentially, you’re not the person the authorities want to catch. Your dealer may have been on their radar for a while, and the police may have actually been trying to find a few addicts they could “flip” for evidence against a much bigger criminal.

What does “immunity” really mean?

If prosecutors are offering you use immunity, then they’re expecting you to testify to what you know with the agreement that they won’t use anything you say (or evidence gathered from what you say) against you. However, this still leaves the door open for prosecution based on any evidence the authorities find against you independently.

Transactional immunity is much broader — and far better. Essentially, the authorities agree that they won’t prosecute you for any offenses related to your testimony, even if they find a pile of evidence against you on their own.

Any kind of drug charge has the potential to upend your life, but no case is hopeless. A charge doesn’t necessarily have to turn into a conviction. However, you shouldn’t consider any kind of offer from the prosecution until you fully understand what it means for your case.