What does it mean to cooperate?
It means that you agree not to fight the case that they are building against you and instead will make yourself available for debriefing. In most cases it is better to do this sooner than later. This exchange will take place during one or more meetings between you, your attorney, agents and sometimes the prosecutor. It is essential that your attorney be present at each meeting and cover every possibility with you in advance. If not you should consider finding a new lawyer.
Each side goes into the debriefing with their version of events. The agents and prosecutor will fire nonstop questions designed to determine if you are truthful and willing to substantiate their vision. Failure to do so for any reason (sometimes this includes telling the truth) may result in threats of additional charges. Before you begin your session you will sign a waiver against self-incrimination. This means that anything you say or tell them that they don't already know cannot be used against you. The nasty truth is that they can later claim that they already knew the information from secret sources which they do not have to reveal. By agreeing to take part in these sessions, you are said to be accepting responsibility for your activities. For being good you will receive several brownie points. For many people this process is the most gut-wrenching element but it is also the most telling. After your debriefing, you will walk away with some insight into your adversarie's position. Most likely you will also have a sense of relief.
In my case, the fearful days leading to the debriefing rendered me almost dysfunctional. Halfway in to the session itself I was thinking "Is this all there is to it? At its conclusion I had a feeling of rejuvenation.
If the feds are intent upon seizing your assets ask your lawyer if it is possible to get some sort of consideration from the prosecutor for letting go without a fight. Giving away your property is hear breaking, but its unforced transfer may be worth more brownie points. Try to console yourself with the attitude that next time you will attain even better assets.
If you are involved with a group of other and are in danger of conspiracy status, it will be in your interest to debrief first. The logic here is that by tattling on yourself before your friends have the chance to tell, you are protected to some extent by your own confession.
Be truthful about your problems with alcohol and drugs. This information in your file can make the difference in being able to take the drug program or not.
The Morales Law Firm would like to thank Mad Dogs guide to Club Fed (Instruction Manuel for Newcomers) for sharing this information with us.