For people offered the chance to keep a clean record by becoming a confidential informant, the offer can be enticing. After all, the benefits can be potentially huge. Unfortunately, like most opportunities for a high payoff, being a confidential informant carries some high risks as well.

As confidential informant in Delaware County or the Philadelphia area as a whole, you won’t be just be providing police with information in exchange with freedom. You will need to actively pursue criminals and help participate in stings to arrest others for crimes. This can sometimes mean that you risk angering those targeted by police operations. If your name is released, you risk retaliation. While police generally try to keep informants’ names secret, they do sometimes come out—either by genuine accident or during a trial where there is a need for testimony. You need to recognize this possibility in case you come up against such a situation.

Confidentiality aside, there are other possible risks of acting as an informant. You only get the benefits of being a confidential informant if you fulfill your agreement with law enforcement in full. This means that you must not only know exactly what you are agreeing to ahead of time, but also be prepared to comply. In some cases, you will be required to give up drug use and attend treatment programs. In other cases, you will have to fill a certain quota of arrests. This can be a challenge if you are not fully prepared ahead of time.

An Experienced Attorney Is Your Best Protection as a Potential Informant

Because confidential informants are undertaking a risky and complex agreement, the best protection against these risks is often an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer is able to look over the agreement before you sign to ensure that it is fair and beneficial to you. Not only that, a lawyer will be on your side, fighting for your rights throughout the process. They will work to ensure safeguards are in place to minimize the danger to you in the field and to keep your identity secret.

Not only that, an attorney is able to ensure that law enforcement lives up to their side of the deal once you have fulfilled your obligations. If you are promised a clean slate, your lawyer will see that through and ensure all charges are officially dropped (and even expunged if possible). With a local criminal defense lawyer on your side, you know that someone is always supporting you and fighting to keep you safe.

When you are a confidential informant, you have a right to have an attorney present during all negotiations and contact with police. It’s in your best interest to take advantage of this right. If you have been arrested on drug charges or for any other crime that has triggered law enforcement to offer a deal, call the experienced Delaware county defense attorneys at Fienman Defense right away at (215) 839-9529 for a free consultation. We can give you an honest assessment of your situation and help you decide if it is worth the risks to become a confidential informant. Get our experience on your side and make sure your rights are protected.

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