Role of Identified Informants

Posted on April 24, 2014

Traffic Ticket

A Redwood City DUI defense attorney may discuss witnesses that may potentially testify at your trial. One such witness may be an identified informant.

Power of Identified Informants

Courts may view identified informants as more credible because they have voluntarily identified themselves to authorities, rather than asking to stay anonymous. Therefore, courts may believe that these types of witnesses are more truthful than anonymous witnesses.

Cases Involving Identified Informants

A Redwood City DUI defense attorney can describe the case law involving identified informants in DUI cases and other cases. For example, one witness in a Missouri case contacted the police to report that he saw a Jeep driving in an erratic manner. With the help of the identified informant, the court ruled that the arrest was lawful. In a Kansas case, an informant provided her name and address to a police officer. She provided a description of a vehicle. The Kansas court found that an informant who leaves her contact information is presumed to be a credible witness. The detention that followed the report was upheld as valid. In a Florida case, a fast food manager called emergency personnel and reported that she saw a driver that she believed was under the influence. She provided her name, address and location of the business where she managed and observed the conduct. She also gave a description of the vehicle and license plate number to the 911 operator and the officer who responded to the call. The source was found to be very credible witness. Similar results flowed from cases involving identified informants in cases in Arkansas and Massachusetts.

Refuting Testimony From Identified Informants

Simply because an identified informant says something does not mean that the court will find it sufficient to support a stop. For example, in one Utah case, a girlfriend called police about a nonviolent domestic situation. She told officers that her boyfriend was drinking. However, the court found the information insufficient to support the stop because she did not say how much he was drinking or that he was drunk. If you would like assistance with refuting this testimony, contact the Redwood City DUI law firm Silveira Law at (415) 795-3890.