If you have become the object of the criminal accusation, you may be inclined to do whatever it takes to make the charges disappear. This may be especially true if you are involved in a drug case.
Drug crime sentences can be pretty severe and leave you with a possibly very long prison term. Law enforcement in every state, including Ohio, understand this – and it is why they developed a mutually beneficial arrangement that involves the use of confidential informants.
Throughout Ohio, law enforcement uses these individuals – often called a CI, to help carry out essential investigations and sting operations, especially in drug cases.
What’s a Confidential Informant
A confidential informant is a person who is facing criminal charges. Law enforcement negotiates with this individual for their services in exchange for a reduction or elimination in charges or penalties connected with the crime they are accused of.
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.
What Does an Informant Do?
As an informant, you will likely play a severe role in gathering evidence against one or more suspects through activities that may include wearing a wire or engaging in controlled purchases. You may be asked to engage directly with a suspect and participate in an activity such as a drug buy.
Generally, criminal or confidential informants participate in various controlled activities that result in arrests of suspected criminals. As an informant, you may be required to participate in a set number of drug buys or arrests before your charges are dropped or reduced. The arrangement between law enforcement and you, as the informant, gives you immunity from all criminal activities you may engage in during your service as an informant.
Advantages of Becoming a Confidential Informant
The benefits provided to confidential informants include facing lesser charges or possibly acquiring a totally clean record. You can also obtain satisfaction from taking down drug operations and gaining the trust and appreciation of law enforcement.
Law enforcement will take steps to protect your identity so that your participation in the arrests made will be unknown to others.
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.
How to Become a Confidential Informant
One example of how you may become a confidential form is being arrested for a minor drug crime. For instance, drug possession charges are a common scenario, and police know you want to avoid a record and stay free.
In this situation, law enforcement may offer you the opportunity to become an informant in exchange for lesser charges, elimination of charges, or probation. You may be offered the chance to work as a confidential informant during a plea deal or even during informal questioning.
Individuals facing harsh sentences can benefit significantly by agreeing to become CI. As one of these individuals, you may have the opportunity to clear your record and get a second chance by successfully working with law enforcement.
Is Becoming an Informant Your Only Option?
For these and many other reasons, it is important to discuss the prospects of becoming a confidential informant with an attorney before deciding to move forward. Police are known to apply pressure, misconstrue the situation, and use other tactics to convince people to cooperate, even when other favorable options exist.
Get Help From an Experienced Defense Lawyer
The deals offered to confidential informants can be complex and should be understood thoroughly before taking any action. If you’ve been charged with drug possession, or any crime and the police are offering you the chance to cooperate, Luftman, Heck, and Associates can help you determine the best course of action.
Call us today at (614) 500-3836 to set up a free consultation so we can discuss your options.