Are you in trouble with the authorities, particularly due to a drug related charge? It might be worth your time to investigate into how to become an informant, that is to say, a person who essentially works as a spy for the authorities regarding drug related activities and individuals. Becoming an informant is not for everyone. It is only for people who believe that it will completely wipe out or reduce their chances of spending time in prison or jail. It also requires a certain personality type, as well. This brief guide will serve to discuss some issues regarding becoming an informant in order to reduce your drug charges and what you can expect from the experience.
Deciding On Becoming An Informant
Deciding on becoming informant really depends on weighing the options you have: either you do not become an informant and could potentially receive the fullest punitive actions possible by the law regarding your drug charge, or you become an informant and have those actions greatly reduced.
First time offenders often times qualify for probation, so you probably don't need to consider becoming an informant. This is the case even though many law enforcement officers and entities will frame probation as a "privilege" despite the fact that, in many communities, probation for first time offenders is required.
If you are not a first time offender, your sentence may be mandatory and may be enhanced – which is to say more punishing. In these cases, you may wish to become an informant.
Expectations Of An Informant
It is incredibly important that you understand the expectations that have been placed upon your shoulders. Many people think that they simply have to complete a drug deal and then their role as an informant is over. This is not the case.
You may have to introduce undercover cops to drug dealers, or you might even have to testify at a trial on behalf of the law enforcement agency. Make sure that you also understand the number of contacts that you have to make in order to receive favorable treatment, as well as the grand total of transactions that will have to be processed.
It is also important to note that, as an informant, you will be barred from using the substances you are purchasing. Using can bar you from any favorable treatment. You also need to make sure that provisions are in place so that nothing will go wrong during the transactions.
What You Will Get In Return
If you are simply receiving probation as a second or multi-time convict, you may want to discover if there is any more preferable treatment that you can receive. For example, you may want to be disavowed from ever becoming an informant again. If you are a successful informant, you will likely receive a reduced prison sentence in return for your services. Be sure to discuss it with your criminal attorney and the officers to clearly understand what you will get for informing.
When It's Better To Not Become An Informant
In almost every situation, if you are a first time offender, it is best to not become an informant. Make sure that you have an attorney present when an officer attempts to strike a deal with you over the outcome. Understand that if the law enforcement agency cannot guarantee your safety, you should not make the decision to become an informant. Becoming an informant also many times carries the social stigma of being a "snitch", such that one's life in one's neighborhood can dramatically change afterwards.
Becoming an informant is an important and difficult decision for many people. Hopefully, this brief article has given you a bit of guidance regarding what you should do if faced with the prospect of becoming an informant. For more information, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.