Assume you are a lawyer defending someone in a prosecution for bribery against a high government official. Your client, a codefendant, is given a choice by the prosecutor between transactional immunity and use and derivative use immunity. Which immunity would you advise your client to take? Support your response.
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Transactional immunity grants a witness immunity from being prosecuted for an offense that relates to his or her testimony and the witness cannot be prosecuted at all. Use immunity prohibits the use of the witness’ testimony in any manner with the criminal prosecution of the witness however; the witness can still be prosecuted but his or her testimony will not be used against them. If I were defending someone who was being accused of bribery of a high government official I would advise my client that transactional immunity would be the way for them to go. That would allow my client to freely speak the facts of the bribery without thereafter being able to be charged based on their testimony given. If they were to go with use immunity they could later be charged. If other charges were brought forward that did not have to do with bribery or what my client testified about they could be charged with a separate crime. Transactional immunity is broad and is referred to as blanket immunity and would offer the most protection for my client while they are on the witness stand. It is important to know that federal system does not use transaction immunity but in this situation I would advise my client that it is their best option.