Confidential Informant- Orlando Criminal Defense Attorneys
What is a confidential Informant? A confidential informant, otherwise known as a “CI”, is someone who informs on a criminal defendant. E.g. a person who buys drugs from the Defendant
Who are they? Traditionally, they are individuals who are faced with legal problems themselves and who want to lower their own sentence.
What do they do? Confidential informants pretend to be regular people who need something illegal. For example, a junkie who needs his fix. The Confidential Informant will often be wired with audio and/or video equipment. If they are not wired for audio/visual, then the Detective in charge of the investigation will likely conduct a search of the CI, then maintain constant visual surveillance over the CI during the transaction, and then will follow up with a search once the CI completes the transaction.
Damaging Evidence: Confidential Informant testimony is incredibly damaging. You have the actual person who conducted the purchase of an illegal substance testifying that the Defendant was the one who sold it to them. That is often supported by video and audio surveillance.
What are Defenses to Confidential Informants: Understand that the traditional CI has their own baggage, their own criminal history. Often times the Confidential Informant will have their own criminal history that can be attacked during a trial. Additionally, the State must reveal the name of the CI in most instances. Where the CI is conducting numerous buys for the police, the State is less likely to actually produce the name of the CI. If your attorney files the appropriate motion, the Court will order that the State produce the CI’s information. In some instances a case may actually be dismissed where the State refuses to turn over the name of the Informant.
In any situation where you are charged with a crime involving a CI, make sure you hire the right lawyer. You have options, including compelling the disclosure of the informant. Call us today to talk to a lawyer.