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Criminal Defense, Confidential Informants, Drug Related

Florida |

I was told by an Investigator at the Sheriff's Department that I, "hadn't need to worry about any charges coming my way from them." I was put in a situation where I became a confidential informant. I have busted 9 people for them, and only one is left in lockdown. Should I worry about anything?
I know that the State's Attorneys office has the right to prosecute or not. But the language the Investigator uses has a lot of deception and double talk in it. He also said that he would give me my weapons back, but he needed to talk to me first. I assume it is for a continued path as an informant, but who knows with these guys.
They initially said that the statute of limitations was three years, a few months back. I just want to move on with my life. They made me sign all sorts of waivers, including a waiver to counsel, while I was drunk and stoned.
Since then, I've tried to establish myself in a legitimate career. The stress is killing me, and ruining my family.
Not to mention we had an open complaint against a Sheriff's Deputy from the same county. And the search warrant was all sorts of jacked up. Although, I've never seen a no-knock that had the DEA and ATF listed. Which raises considerable concerns for me as well.

They also made me give them a taped and signed confession after placing a gun to my head earlier in the evening during the arrest (although I presented no clear danger.) They made me sign a waiver of speedy trial, and a waiver of entrapment as well. If I lawyer up, is it possible for the lawyer to negotiate behind the scenes without the Sheriff's Department finding out? E.g., could my lawyer talk the State's Attorneys office into not filing anything considering my level of cooperation. I've brought the Sheriff's about $100k in seizures of property and drugs. And they also would seemingly need me to testify, considering not everybody accepts a plea.

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Attorney answers 1


Try to avoid becoming a police informant. They'll "work you" as long as you're useful, yet stay ambivalent regarding what you receive in return. In the long run, police will turn your file over to the prosecutor as soon as (1) you are no longer useful, and/or (2) the statute of limitations on your possible charges is close to expiring. At best, if you're a good informant, police will inform the prosecutor you were cooperative; and you might catch a downward reduction and/or dismissal of your criminal charges, if you face any. It's a dangerous gamble, especially in your circumstances. Unfortunately, the police are wary to trust you or give you a break because you've complained about a Sheriff Deputy.

You must operate from a position of strength. Consider hiring counsel. An attorney would strike clear-cut deals with prosecutors. An attorney could also argue a motion to forfeit property illegally seized from your home (your weapons). The "waiver of attorney" document you signed is not legally binding. This is especially true if you were drunk and stoned.

You should not face criminal charges for breaching the agreement (Obstructing is possible, yet still far-fetched; you have a 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination). Realize, however, that you may face underlying criminal charges if you breach the agreement. Again, a gamble. Lawyer up!