It is legal for the police to utilize CIs. CIs are often addicts, not big time drug dealers. FL Statute 893.13 is the statute that your girlfriend is charged with violating.
If your girlfriend cannot afford to hire a private attorney, then she needs to schedule a meeting with her attorney at the public defender's office asap.
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Yes, the police are allowed to use confidential informants. However, I would add that in cases where they use CI's, a defense of objective and subjective entrapment may be raised which could impact the State's prosecution. Entrapment is very prevalent in these cases because often the confidential informant is not monitored carefully enough and when left to their own devices bad things often happen. I have seen many good people arrested because of the overreaching by the CI.
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Your girlfriend should schedule an appointment with the Public Defender immediately. Law enforcement rely heavily on CIs and other informants to set up buys or as the basis of search warrants.
Section 893.13, Florida Statutes is the law which your girlfriend is charged with violating. Selling in the proximity of a church, school or certain other facilities can be an enhancement.
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Confidential informants are a regular part of police investigation, particularly in drug trafficking crimes. Have her meet with her PD immediately and cooperate with them.
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Law enforcement are allowed to use almost anyone as a confidential informant. However, law enforcement are stuck with the folks they use, which may help your girlfriend in a trial situation. If an addict did not follow procedures, or had the time and the ability to procure drugs by other means, your girlfriend may have a defense.
The public defender will not represent all of those arrested in the recent roundup. He will be conflicted in a bunch of ways, as he likely represented one or more of the confidential informants in the past (it's a small county). Your girlfriend would be best served finding and hiring her own attorney. It may appear expensive, but you may be getting years of her freedom in return.