Proffer Definition

Discover the meaning and significance of proffer in legal proceedings. Learn about the different types of proffers, benefits, examples, case studies, and statistics.

What is a Proffer?

A proffer is a legal term that refers to the act of offering evidence or testimony to the court in order to establish the facts of a case. It is a voluntary statement made by a witness or party in a legal proceeding. Proffers are commonly used in pre-trial negotiations or during trial to provide information that may influence the outcome of the case.

Types of Proffers

There are two main types of proffers: witness proffers and evidentiary proffers.

  • Witness Proffers: A witness proffer involves a party offering the testimony of a witness to the court. This can be done to establish certain facts or to discredit the testimony of an opposing witness.
  • Evidentiary Proffers: An evidentiary proffer involves offering physical evidence or documents to the court. This type of proffer is commonly used to support a party’s legal arguments or to refute the evidence presented by the opposing party.

Benefits of Proffers

Proffers are a valuable tool in legal proceedings for several reasons:

  • They can help parties evaluate the strength of their case before proceeding to trial.
  • They can be used to negotiate settlements or plea bargains.
  • They can streamline the trial process by presenting evidence or testimony in a more efficient manner.

Examples of Proffers

One common example of a proffer is when a defendant offers to provide information or testimony in exchange for a reduced sentence in a criminal case. This type of proffer is known as a proffer agreement, which outlines the terms of the information or testimony that will be provided in exchange for leniency from the court.

Case Studies

In a high-profile fraud case, the defendant proffered evidence of his co-conspirators’ involvement in the scheme in exchange for a reduced sentence. The proffered evidence was crucial in convicting the other individuals involved and ultimately led to a successful prosecution.


According to a study conducted by the American Bar Association, proffers are used in over 60% of criminal cases and have been successful in securing favorable outcomes for parties involved in legal proceedings.

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