In U.S. criminal law, a proffer agreement, proffer letter, proffer, or "Queen for a Day" letter is a written agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant or prospective witness that allows the defendant or witness to give the prosecutor information about an alleged crime, while limiting the prosecutor's ability to use that information against him or her.[1]

As part of the agreement, the subject may agree to create a statement, known as a proffer statement, setting out their testimony. A meeting in which proffer agreements and statements are negotiated or set out is called a proffer session.[2] The proffer testimony may be recorded as video evidence, in which case it is known as a proffer video.[3]

A proffer does not ensure immunity; however, it often involves a deal for leniency. For instance, a defendant might secure a recommendation for a lighter sentence or other significant advantages in return for providing valuable and truthful information.[4]


Although the statement from the proffer agreement may not be used by the prosecutors, it often results in discovery of new evidence, which then may be used. For this reason, many defendants are reluctant to engage in a proffer agreement.[5][6]


Examples of proffer agreements include:


  1. ^ Richard M. Phillips, The Securities Enforcement Manual: Tactics and Strategies, American Bar Association, 2007, p. 440
  2. ^ Avergun, Jodi L.; Cohan, Douglas. "Explaining the Inexplicable: The Perks and the Perils of Proffer Sessions and Best Practices for Explaining it All to Your Client" (PDF). Retrieved 29 October 2023.
  3. ^ a b Rubin, Olivia; Steakin, Will (November 13, 2023). "'The boss is not going to leave': Proffer videos show ex-Trump lawyers telling Georgia prosecutors about efforts to overturn 2020 election". ABC News. Retrieved 2023-11-16.
  4. ^ "Proffer Agreement". Retrieved 2024-04-14.
  5. ^ Santos, Michael (2021-11-04). "Can A Proffer Agreement Be Used Against You?". Prison Professors. Retrieved 2024-04-14.
  6. ^ "Understanding The Risks Of Proffers". Law Office of Joseph Abrams. 2023-05-30. Retrieved 2024-04-14.
  7. ^ Katzberg, Robert (2023-06-29). "Does Rudy Giuliani's "Proffer" Mean He's About to Flip Against Trump?". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2023-10-21.
  8. ^ Sheth, Sonam. "2 of Trump's co-defendants pushed for speedy trials in Georgia. Now both have turned against him". Business Insider. Retrieved 2023-10-21.
  9. ^ "Deal made between California authorities and 'Keefe D' could affect prosecution in Tupac case". Channel 13 Las Vegas News KTNV. 2023-10-06. Retrieved 2023-10-21.

See also