Category Archives: Arrest Warrant

Using a Confidential Informant to Arrest a Suspect

Castro-4

I’m not the Guy you Want.

Many of the drug cases that I handle involve the Police using a confidential informant (or CI) as part of the investigation. A confidential informant is typically an individual who has been arrested for a separate crime and in exchange for favorable treatment, agrees to give information, participate in the investigation, and in many instances, be the key player in the crime that leads to your arrest.

A typical fact pattern is as follows:

Johnny gets caught with an ounce of pot. The police say to him “We will help you out if you help us out. Who do you know that sells drugs.” Johnny tells them and then agrees to go and buy drugs from that person. He does so on several occasions. This is called a controlled buy. After several controlled buys, the police make an application for a warrant to search the suspect’s home. They get that warrant based on the information that the CI provides and the successful controlled buys.

The home is searched and drugs are found. The suspect is charged with drug distribution.

The identity of the confidential informant is rarely revealed. In fact, the law is very protective of the identity of a CI and only requires that this identity by exposed under certain circumstances. And even then, the law states that the CI’s testimony if ordered can only be required at trial under most circumstances.

There are exceptions, as stated, to the general rule that the identity remains secret. For example, in my example above, if we change the facts slightly to say that the suspect was arrested because we arranged for the CI to buy a gun from him, and we arrested him on the spot. This means that the CI was directly involved in the crime that led to the arrest. This is different than being involved in the development of probable cause for arrest.

Another exception is when the identity of the CI is revealed by the state. This doesn’t mean that you know who he is. This means that the State screwed up an inadvertently revealed it. For example, if the name appeared in a police report. Just because you may know who it is, does not mean that the State disclosed it.

There are other exceptions as well. I have filed many motions to disclose the identity of a CI. Not all have been successful, but in the cases where it has been, it frequently results in a dismissal or significant downgrade. The State does not like to reveal them, especially if they are good at what they do.

If you have been arrested and suspect that a CI was used by the Police during the investigation, it would benefit you you get as much information as you can about it. If the chips fall the right way, it could result in the dismissal of your case or other very good outcomes.

 

Didn’t Show for Court and Now There is Warrant for My Arrest – New Jersey

Arrest-and-Bench-Warrants

Common problem and a frequent phone call that I receive. Short answer is the more serious the offense, the more likely the situation will be complicated to resolve. For example, you are charged with a disorderly persons offense such as shoplifting or simple assault. You miss the first appearance date for the municipal court and you get notification that there is a warrant for your arrest. In this instance, an attorney may be able to convince the Court to recall the bench warrant and get your case back on the calender without you having to turn yourself in, possibly spend the night in jail and post bail. If you have missed multiple court dates, then it becomes tougher for me to get warrants vacated without turning the defendant in. Remember though, sometimes a judge just wont budge and we may need to make arrangement with the police to turn you in and release you on the same day after we post bail. As opposed to superior court and indictable charges, the municipal court judge will usually attach a bail amount to a arrest/bench warrent

If you are charged with a more serious offense such as cocaine or heroin distribution in the Superior Court, and you miss a court date, the Superior Court judge may not allow your attorney to do a “warrant walk in” and  may insist that you turn yourself in. This means that you will likely spend at least a day in jail before bail is reinstated or the judge sees you to set new bail. Although, as stated, in some instances it is possible to do a walk in if I can clear it with the court first. The problem with Indictable offense and missed court dates is that judges with frequently forfeit the bail that was posted initially and won’t set new bail until they have you in custody. This is the case almost all the time with indictables and missed court dates. This means that you will have to wait in jail before bail gets set again unless a walk in is possible. It really depends on the court and the judge

Sometimes a warrant may issues when you fall behind on time payments. This can be remedied in some instances by simple calling the court and making the payments that your are behind on. If you can’t do this, it may be necessary to post bail, and ask the judge to put you on a new payment schedule or an attorney can sometimes get the court to put you on the calendar for a date without having to turn you in.

If you have a warrant for your arrest in New Jersey, remember that every situation is different and I have handled just about all of them at one time or another. Give me a call and I can give you some guidance.