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What happens to a defendant's case if a CI doesn't show in court to testify at trial to testify against the defendant?

Huntingdon, PA |

My fiance is the defendant in a drug case where a CI made controlled buys for the drug task force. The CI testified at the prelimanry hearing but a no-show for the trial, what does the mean for the defendant? Is the CI required to testify at the trial too or can his statement from the prelimary hearing be used at trial? The CI skipped town because he didn't want to testify at the trial. Can the defendant still be tried if the CI doesn't show up for the trial?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Note: there is not enough information in your question to give a completely informed answer. But, yes, he can still be tried, but proof will be difficult, unless there are other witnesses or evidence. Likely, the State will ask for a continuance to give them time to find their witness, and the Judge will make a decision whether or not to grant the continuance.

not intended as legal advice


Yes, he can still be tried. But, the question you need to ask yourself is: Is there enough other evidence to convict your fiance without the CI's testimony?


A CI may have just been needed originally to show probable cause to search. Are you certain this was at the preliminary hearing as opposed to a motion hearing? Regardless, there are some situations where they will be needed, but in most they are not.

Michael L. Doyle
(215) 900-5565