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What Does a Confidential Informant Have to Do?

What a confidential has to do depends on the contract that he or she signs. Typically, an informant’s obligation consists of more than providing all the information that one knows.informant to do Typically, the informant signs up for an ongoing obligation to provide information in the future and the informant often agrees to make “controlled buys” or “wired buys.” There is almost an obligation of the informant to show up for court and to testify as to what he or she has done. The duties and obligations of an informant usually vary based on what the informant is getting in return. For example, if an informant is trying to get out of trouble for something small (like a probation violation) he may not “owe” the police much more than providing tips of information on ongoing criminal activity. However, if the informant is neck-deep in drug trafficking and is facing a lengthy mandatory sentence, then he or she will have to fulfill substantial obligations. In return for the work of the informant, the police usually agree to have charges dropped. If this is the case, the local prosecuting attorney is usually a party of the agreement and will sign as well. It is possible that the police agree to something less tangible like “to put in a good word” with the prosecutor or judge at sentencing, but informants typically look for a more concrete promise than that.

Learn more about informants.