Philadelphia, PA asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Pennsylvania

Q: pending drugs charges involving undercover informant who you identify, you have the right to face your accuser correct?

These are not facts but only what’s in the discovery.

Confidential Informant (CI) and undercover police officer (UPO) set up a controlled drug buy.

CI and suspect meet and after suspect and CI depart the CI gives UPO a bag of drugs that is being claimed to have come from suspect. The suspect is never pulled over meaning the drugs are claimed to have come from suspect but nonetheless were givin to the UPO from the CI. Now if you go to trial and informant doesn’t show up does that make the then produced evidence inadmissible since they came from the CI. If the evidence is then inadmissible is there still a case with no evidence other that just what officers is claiming to have seen?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In a criminal trial, the right to confront your accuser is protected by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. If the informant (CI) who played a crucial role in the case does not appear in court and is not available for cross-examination by the defense, it can potentially weaken the prosecution's case.

If the evidence presented is solely based on the CI's actions and statements, and the CI is not available for testimony, it may raise issues of admissibility. The defense can argue that the evidence should be deemed inadmissible because the defendant's right to confront the accuser has been violated.

However, whether the evidence becomes inadmissible and whether there is still a viable case depend on various factors, including the strength of other evidence, the specific circumstances of the case, and applicable legal precedents. The prosecution may attempt to rely on other evidence, such as the observations of the undercover police officer (UPO) or physical evidence, to make its case.

Ultimately, the admissibility of evidence and the strength of the case without the informant's testimony would be determined by the court based on the rules of evidence and constitutional principles. It's essential to consult with an attorney experienced in criminal defense to assess the specific details of your case and develop a strategy to protect your rights and interests.

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