This is the third post in our series on the handling of drug trafficking cases in Arkansas. Our last article discussed challenging search warrants based on statements from a confidential informant. Such is an important topic to understand as many trafficking cases hinge on such search and seizure issues. In this article we will address another important topic – challenging in-court statements made from a testifying informant. If you are charged with drug trafficking then we cannot stress enough that you should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Many drug trafficking arrests are made due to an informant who has chosen to cooperate with police. Such informants often have to testify at trial. Their testimony may include descriptions of drug transactions in which they allegedly assisted the defendant as well as other activity the informant witnessed. Such testimony can be highly damaging to the defense for obvious reasons. The fact of the matter, however, is that informants are often testifying for self-serving purposes and not out an effort to help find the truth. It is important that the defendant’s attorney be prepared to attack any claims made by such an informant.
As mentioned above, most informants testify out of self interests. They may be testifying as part of an arrangement made with police. These arrangements can include the informant assisting in the investigation in exchange for a reduced sentence. In other instances, informants may be assisting officers in not just one, but several cases. This means that the informant may be testifying in several different criminal trials. In extreme circumstances informants may even be paid by police as part of their compensation for assisting law enforcement.
A criminal defense lawyer can help one accused of drug trafficking in dealing with a confidential informant. If a witness has a history of testifying in exchange for favorable police treatment then it is important that your attorney raise the issue with the jury. Quite often informants are willing to fabricate facts in order to ensure their own future. Also, quite often, informants will have substantial criminal records and a defendant’s lawyer can use such a record to challenge credibility. Hiring counsel familiar with these types of issues can be crucial to one’s defense.
Our Little Rock defense lawyers have over twenty-five years combined experience in protecting the rights of the accused. Once retained we will begin an immediate investigation of the case, file any necessary Motions in order to challenge of the use of a confidential informant, and will keep you involved throughout each step of the process. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation if you or a loved one have been charged with drug trafficking. Our lawyers also handle matters in Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the rest of Arkansas. Contact us today.