We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does It Mean to Proffer?

By Ken Black
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Proffer is a term used in a legal proceeding to offer something into evidence that may be questioned by the opposing side. This can take place in a preliminary hearing or other hearing prior to a trial, or may take place during a trial. In cases where it takes place during a trial, a proffer usually is something that takes place outside the presence of the jury. Then, a judge will determine whether the jury will actually get a chance to hear the evidence.

In cases where a proffer is made during trial, a judge may talk to the attorneys privately in chambers, or at the bench, to determine whether the evidence is legally admissible. If the judge needs to hear what a witness will be saying before making a decision, then the jury may be excused in order for the judge to hear exactly what the testimony is expected to be. During this time, the attorneys will proceed questioning the witness as usual and then at the end of the questionable testimony, the judge typically makes a determination on the legality of the testimony.

In most situations, a judge prefers to take care of as many of these legal issues as possible prior to the trial. That may not always be possible as some witnesses may not be available or strategies may change a little at the last minute. Before the trial, a proffer may be made through the form of a deposition or official hearing. Typically, an objection must be made or testimony will generally be regarded as being admissible. It is only when a specific objection is made that a judge makes a ruling on admissibility.

Even if a proffer is made and rejected by the judge, a witness still may try to offer testimony that is inadmissible. In such cases, the opposing attorney will usually object and, if that attorney thinks the witness is purposefully attempting to inappropriately influence the jury, he or she may ask the witness be admonished, which is a warning. Further violations could result in a contempt of court charge. In the most serious cases, a mistrial may result from inadmissible evidence introduced to a jury that was rejected after being proffered.

If the judge admits the testimony after a proffer has been made, an opposing attorney may still make an objection for the record. The objection may be specific during the testimony, or may be a standing objection that applies to the testimony as a whole. This does not change the fact that the testimony has been admitted, but could make the issue a subject for an appeal.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.