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What Is the Meaning of a "Deactivated" Confidential Informant?

“Deactivated” just means that the informant was terminated or fired from his work as an informant prior to the completion of the work that was expected of him. A deactivated informant can still be subpoenaed to testify in court, however. Generally speaking, if information from an informant is being used in a probable cause affidavit to apply for a warrant, the police should notify the judge that the informant was deactivated and why this occurred.deactivated informant Common reasons for why an informant becomes deactivated are lying to his handlers, failing a polygraph or UA test, or violating the law in some unapproved way. The fact that an informant testifies in a case and is later deactivated does not mean that the defendants he helped convict automatically get a new trial, but it is certainly something that the defense attorneys could look into on appeal. It is possible for a “deactivated” informant to get reactivated. Some police agencies have blanket policies prohibiting reactivation, but most police agencies take these matters on a case by case basis. Under the legal precedent of Brady v. Maryland, prosecutors must disclose to defense attorneys if an informant has any credibility issues at all.

Learn more about confidential informants.