So There Was An Informant Involved In Your Case Who Is It
In a Nutshell: Defendant may not always be able to find out the identity of an informant, which may seem to violate the Sixth Amendment concept of having the right to confront ones accuser, but there are good reasons why this right is limited in certain contexts, as this article explains.
People v. HobbsEleaser v. Superior CourtHonore v. Superior CourtCompton CourthouseTheeodor v. Superior CourtPeople v. McShannPrice v. Superior CourtPeople v. GoodmanPeople v. Goliday
Identifying An Unmarked Police Car
Tip: The Ford Crown Victoria, Dodge Charger Pursuit, Chevrolet Impala, and Hummer H3 are among the most common vehicles used by police departments throughout North America.
What Happens If You Refuse To Snitch
If you refuse to snitch or otherwise cooperate with government, the prosecutor may pin more charges on you and may pursue them with more determination. Worse, prosecutors may threaten to bring charges against those you love.
Or that may not happen. Sometimes pressure to snitch is just a gambit and nothing terrible will happen to you for refusing.
If you do refuse to snitch and “the man” becomes more threatening, consider going public with your courageous refusal. This might offer you some protection and will very likely gain you friends and supporters. As soon as you’re out on bail, tell your associates what happened to you. Blog about it. Put it out on social media. Explain the kind of pressures that were put on you. Describe what you felt and endured. Describe why and how you refused to become a tool of the police.
You’ll be wise if you have a good lawyer on your side from the get-go. Our helpful attorney notes: “This is a good reason for ‘lawyering up’ in the first place. People make fun of lawyers, but there’s a reason we exist. Of course, keep in mind that the prosecutor is a lawyer, too, so it’s not necessarily all to the good.”
What if your lawyer advises you to snitch?
If you are strongly opposed to snitches and snitching, tell your lawyer up front that, whatever else happens, you’re not going to do that. Then if your lawyer pressures you to accept any agreement that involves snitching, get a new lawyer.
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Resources For Using Confidential Informants
Police policy and procedures
- IACP LAW ENFORCEMENT POLICY CENTER, Confidential Informants Concepts and Issues Paper, updated August 2017, includes Sample Confidential Informant Agreement
- Confidential Informants: A Closer Look at Police Policy looks at how many departments fall short of the IACP standards, the problem of CI integrity and proposes integrity testing, among other solutions.
- A Guide for Developing and Controlling Informants outlines the proper procedures for handling informants.
- Speaking Truth to Power: Confidential Informants and Police Investigations details the role of informants in the complex web of information exchange between narcotics, homicide and street-level vice operations in two major metropolitan police departments.
Becoming A Confidential Informant
If someone, whether a police officer or prosecutor, approaches you about becoming a CI, we highly recommend retaining an attorney immediately. Being an informant is not usually a one-time occurrence. It is a continuous relationship with a law enforcement agency. You need to know what is expected of you,for how long you will be expected to provide information, and ensure that you are given credit for any information you provide which leads to an arrest of other individuals, typically referred to as targets.
A lawyer will help you define what kind of information and details the police are looking for. The police and prosecutors will need information that is credible and actionable. They want information they can use to gain an indictment, arrest, and conviction in court. You need to find out how often the police are looking to be kept apprised of a criminal situation, as well as how you will be required to pass along information.
Your attorney also will review the police department or other law enforcement agencys confidential informant guidelines to ensure the officer offering you a CI position is acting within regulations. For example, the CMPD has its own confidential informant guidelines.
Another aspect of becoming a CI is learning what you can and cannot do. Informing the police on criminal activity does not make you immune from future charges. Do not assume that if you become a CI that this will give you the freedom to break the law.
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Learn The Details About Your Role As An Informant
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a confidential informant during your criminal case, you need a lawyer to represent you. You will need to negotiate with the police regarding your precise role and expectations. The police may want more than specific and useful information. They may need introductions to other offenders or for you to set up meetings, such as a drug deal. You may be asked to testify at trial. You need to know exactly what they want you to do and how.
You also need to learn what you cannot do after taking on the role of a confidential informant. You do not have legal immunity. In the movies, you may see the police looking the other way when informants break the law. That is not real life. If you are found participating in an offense, your position as an informant can be revoked, and you could be charged with an additional crime.
Never agree to become a confidential informant without speaking to an attorney and learning what would actually be expected of you. Agreeing to something you do not fully understand could put you in a difficult or dangerous position in the future. If you default on your agreement, you will find yourself facing criminal charges.
An Egregious Example Of Informants Giving False Confessions
One of the biggest risks associated with using criminal informants is that the informer is likely to feed police false evidence in exchange for cash, reduced sentencing or other benefits. This is why its so important that the evidence be corroborated in some other manner before a warrant is issued or an arrest is made.
A recent news story in Philadelphia shows exactly how out of hand things can get when informers are rewarded for providing damning information. As it turns out, detectives in Philadelphia during the 1980s were not just offering informants lighter sentencing -but the opportunity for inmates to have sex with their girlfriends or prostitutes, who would also bring the informants drugs and money. To make matters worse, the detectives werent just giving the informers a sweet deal if they snitched, but also telling them what information they were supposed to provide.
In other words, if the informants pointed their fingers at the right guys and helped the detectives lock up innocent men, they would be rewarded with lighter sentences, sex, drugs and money -a deal few men facing lengthy prison sentences would quickly turn down. Many informants even claim the prosecutors were in on the deal too.
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Working As A Confidential Informant
Criminal or confidential informants assist law enforcement in setting up and busting others accused of violating the law somehow.
An exchange for leniency in the charges against the informant generally occurs in these situations. So if you, as an informant, perform the job assigned, you can expect to have your charges dropped or reduced in exchange for your successful work.
The Police Officer Is Not Your Friend
Contrary to what you might have learned in kindergarten … contrary to what you might hope … and contrary to the image the officer might be trying to fake … THE POLICE OFFICER IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. Let us say that again, just in case you didn’t get it the first time: THE POLICE OFFICER IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.
Again remember: Everything we say about not talking to cops also goes for every, single kind of government agent, local, state, national, or international.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave most of your life, you’ve probably heard of the “bad cop/good cop” technique. When you’ve been arrested and are being interrogated, one cop will bully and intimidate you until you’re just a little puddle of terror. Then another cop will pretend to sympathize with you and want to “help” you.
Don’t ever believe it.
If you’ve done your proper work and just said no to interrogation or said you’d only speak with your lawyer present, you may avoid this particular form of manipulation. But wherever and whenever you meet a cop or any federal agent or investigator, a jailer or a prosecutor who acts like he’s “on your side” or wants to “help” you or promises to get the system to “go lighter on you” DON’T YOU BELIEVE IT!
Attorney safety tip:
Officer A will threaten you, your family, your friends, your pets, with severe harm going back nigh unto the 10th generation. Officer B will then call him off and suggest that “just a little cooperation” on your part will help avert all that.
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What Is A Confidential Informant
According to the Confidential Informant Guidelines, a confidential informant or CI is any individual who provides useful and credible information to a Justice Law Enforcement Agency regarding felonious criminal activities and from whom the JLEA expects or intends to obtain additional useful and credible
What Are The 3 C’s That Police Look For In A Confidential Informant
The authorizing justice must consider three factors in weighing evidence from confidential informants in assessing whether there are reasonable and probable grounds to issue a search warrant: first, whether the information is compelling second, whether the source is credible and, third, whether police are able to
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Can An Informant Use Drugs
Dont Use Drugs: Generally a contract for work as an informant contains a provision prohibiting the use of illegal drugs. Confidentiality: The contract informants sign provide that they cannot tell anyone that they are working as an informant. The means they cannot tell their spouse or their parent.
We Don’t Even Know Who He Is
The prosecution and police typically don’t have to reveal the identity of an informant if they don’t have it. So if they get an anonymous phone call detailing some of Joe’s shady business activities and use this information as a lead to uncover Joe’s dealings, Joe would be out of luck at trial in discovering the identity of the person who ratted him out. The police are generally not required to conduct investigation to uncover the confidential informant’s identity if it’s unknown to them.
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How Do Police Use Informants
The informant creates officer-safety issues by providing information to multiple law enforcement agencies simultaneously, without prior notification and approval of each agency. The informant engages in any other behavior that could jeopardize the safety of officers or the integrity of a criminal investigation.
What Happens To You If You Snitch And Your Friends Find Out
Chances are, if you’re a non-violent political activist or small-time dealer of “college type” drugs who got busted and turned, your friends will hate you but won’t beat you up or kill you if they learn you snitched on them.
However, your reputation will be ruined and good luck earning it back.
If you snitch and get caught, at the very least be ready to humbly accept whatever those you betrayed dish out to you you only make things worse by making excuses.
If your snitching has gotten others into legal trouble, you should accept that, at the very least, you owe them restitution. This may be difficult to do, especially since you may be facing serious criminal charges and huge expenses yourself. But it’s your responsibility and you’ll have to do it if you ever expect to be taken seriously again.
If you are part of a violent group or you deal hard drugs, don’t be surprised if you get killed. Or as our helpful attorney says , “Prepare to be surprised very briefly. Or perhaps not so briefly torture may be involved first.”
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Can Police Read Your Texts Without You Knowing
Authorities can get access to unopened email messages from the last 180 days, but they must get a warrant, first. The police may obtain your opened and unopened messages that are 180 days old or older with a subpoena. But they have to let you know once theyve requested this access from the provider.
As You Evaluate Your Area Of Responsibility For Future Crime Scenes Be Sure To Include Retailers That Sell Products Used To Manufacture Illicit Drugs And Explosives
Since patrol officers typically do not have the time, resources or authorization to recruit confidential informants and conduct undercover operations, this article will discuss the recruitment of sources in the community. In a previous article, I encouraged you to pinpoint locations that could be potential terrorist targets. In this article, I encourage you to pinpoint the locations in your AOR that are most likely to be a scene of the crime in the future. It could be the intersection that is known for drug sales, the wooded area where stolen cars are stripped and burned, the local trap house or the convenience store that is robbed on a regular basis.
Once those areas are identified, take a step back and make note of every residence, business and roadway with a view of that location. Now, make a plan to engage those residents, business owners and the folks who travel those roadways. Following are six key confidential sources for law enforcement operations.
Every neighborhood has a person who seemingly never sleeps and knows everything that happens on the street. They should be your source.
#2: Regular Route Drivers
#3: Sex Workers
Another group of individuals who are on the roadway at all hours are sex workers. Although you must use extreme caution when developing rapport with them, they can be great sources of intelligence. Sex workers are often involved in or work adjacent to the drug trade and may be affiliated with a variety of criminal associates.
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Can The Police Lie To Make Me An Informant
28 Nov, 2018
Police officers lieits a sad reality in the world of criminal justice. Although many Americans believe that police officers would only lie to hardened criminals suspected of the most heinous crimes, police actually lie every day to regular citizens.
If police want to turn you into an informant, you likely arent a hardened criminal, but you probably did break the law and are facing criminal charges. As a person who made one small mistake and wants to avoid jail time, you are an easy target for police lies.
Risks Of Becoming A Confidential Informant
There are potential risks and dangers to working as a confidential informant that should be weighed against any possible benefits.
First, you may need to testify against one or more criminals. Also, your identity may be revealed by mistake during the investigation or trial phase. Additionally, some situations you may face as an informant could be dangerous, especially those situations involving drugs and money.
Typically, you must fulfill all of the terms of your agreement with law enforcement. If you fail to meet all of the terms, your deal for reducing or eliminating the charges against you may not be fulfilled.
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How Can I Tell Who Are The Confidential Informants On The Streets
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