Should I work as a confidential informant?
Some times when a person is caught by a drug team or other police agency, the police will ask the person to work as a confidential informant or “snitch” in exchange for a reduction in charges. Whether you should act as a confidential informant is only a decision that you can make, but you should consider some of these points before making the decision:
Working for the police as a confidential informant can be dangerous.
- The police cannot make a deal that is binding on the prosecuting attorney. This means that you could do multiple “buys” for the police before having a falling out with them. If you don’t make the drug team happy, they may turn in a request to the prosecutor asking for charges to be filed against you. If you had a deal with the drug team, you can’t get a judge to enforce it.
- The agreements are frequently confusing and poorly defined. Many times the “deals” that are struck between a police agency and a “snitch” are poorly defined. Many local agencies want you to work for them until they’re done with you, but you don’t know on the front end how many buys you need to do. More than one client has reported that the drug teams use them until they don’t know anyone else and then have them arrested.
- Many people don’t know enough drug dealers. If you don’t know a lot of people who sell drugs, you’re unlikely to be able to satisfy the drug teams.
- Snitches get stitches. People have been known to show up dead when they work as snitches. If you’re considering setting someone up on felony drug charges, you need to consider what that person might do to you if s/he finds out what you’re up to. A four year felony drug charge is not worth dying over. Recently, 60 Minutes ran a story that outlined several cases where working as a snitch didn’t work well.
Before you consider working as a confidential informant for a local drug team, you need to consider whether it will actually work out like the drug officers have told you. As a general rule, we don’t work with snitches. However, if you want to discuss your situation, we’re happy to meet with you.