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MASSACHUSETTS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT LAW
POSSESSION, DISTRIBUTION, AND TRAFFICKING OF DRUGS

Were you charged with possession, distribution, or trafficking of drugs in Massachusetts as a result of statements made by a confidential informant? A large percentage of search warrants issued in Massachusetts are based on information provided by confidential informants. The information provided by these unnamed sources enables the police to search a person’s house, car and/or property. In order to obtain a search warrant, the police officer applying for the warrant must include an affidavit supported by probable cause.

Generally in drug offense cases, the police officer will indicate in his affidavit that a confidential informant has recently provided him with information that drug are being sold by a particular person from a particular location. The officer will typically indicate that this informant is reliable because they have provided information in the past that has led to arrests and convictions of a number of individuals.

While the confidential informant’s identity is generally not disclosed, the defendant may seek an order from the court requiring the prosecution to disclose the identity of the informant. Some instances when the defendant may seek disclosure are when there is question as to whether or not an informant actually exists or if the informant can provide testimony that is in your client’s favor.

The defendant has the burden to show the Court that disclosure of the informant’s identity is necessary. Some factors in determining whether disclosure is required are the type of crime charged, available defenses, the significance of the informer’s testimony, and any other relevant factors.

Contact Our MA Drug Defense Lawyers at (508) 343-0676 or CLICK HERE

Top Challenges to Drug Arrests based on Information Provided by a Confidential Informant

(1) Attacking the Informant’s Basis of Knowledge
- The Police have the burden of showing that there must be some underlying circumstances on which the police concluded that the contraband was where it was claimed to be. When questioning the informant’s basis of knowledge, what we are really asking is: how does the informant know what he is saying, and does that make the informant more or less reliable?

(2) Attacking the Informant’s Veracity
- The Police also have the burden of showing the underlying facts and circumstances used to conclude that the informant was credible or that his information was reliable. How recently was the information provided? Has the informant provided credible information in the past?

(3) Staleness of the Information
- Factors such as the nature of the criminal activity under investigation and the nature of the evidence sought have a bearing on what constitutes excessive remoteness.
- Further, when the informant indicates engagement in protracted and continuous drug distribution, precise time is of less significance.

Potential Motions in Confidential Informant Cases

An experienced Massachusetts drug crimes lawyer will decide if it is appropriate to the file some or all of the following motions:

- A motion for disclosure of the confidential informant
- A motion to suppress challenging the sufficiency of the affidavit
- A motion to suppress alleging the affidavit contains false information


Contact Our MA Drug Defense Lawyers at (508) 343-0676 or CLICK HERE