Koffel Law Blog
Recent Posts
Ohio State Law Requires An Investigation Before Someone Receives a Community Control Sentence
A Balancing Act: Registering Juveniles as Sex Offenders
When Can Sex Offender Status for Juveniles Be Decided? Supreme Court Weighs In.
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome: An American Epidemic
Advising Clients to Delete Potentially Damaging Social Media Posts
Ohio Supreme Court Ruled on Cell Phone Searches Years Before SCOTUS
Ohio Court Rules Police Dash-Cam Videos are Not Public Records
New Trial Ordered for Woman Convicted of Aggravated Murder, Aggravated Burglary
Most Popular
Confidential Informants: Is there such a thing as a Confidential Informant’s privilege.
Ohio S. Ct. Limits Restitution in Theft Cases
Types of Informants
A Psychological Understanding of Exhibitionism
Attorney Brad Koffel Comments on High Profile Sex Crime Case, Client's Plea Deal
Archives
2014 (58)
2013 (99)
2012 (76)
2011 (46)
2010 (53)
2009 (5)
2007 (3)
2006 (18)
Practice Areas
DUI Defense
BMV Hearing
DUI With Injury
Multiple DUI
Ohio DUI / OVI Case Results
Ohio DUI / OVI Overview
Ohio DUI / OVI Penalties
Underage DUI
Ashland County DUI / OVI
Columbus DUI / OVI
Delaware County DUI / OVI
Fairfield County DUI / OVI
Licking County DUI / OVI
Madison County DUI / OVI
Morrow County DUI / OVI
Richland County DUI / OVI
Serious Vehicular Crimes
Aggravated Vehicular Assault
Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
Drag Racing
Nitrous Oxide & Motor Vehicle
Ohio Fleeing & Eluding
Ohio Hit-Skip
Reckless Driving
Theft Crimes
Credit Card Fraud
Embezzlement
Forgery
Fraud
Investment Fraud
Mortgage Fraud
Stock Broker Misconduct
Workers' Comp Fraud
Drug Crimes
Deception of Obtaining Drugs
Drug Cultivation
Drug Paraphernalia
Drug Trafficking / Sale
Heroin
Possession of Drug Documents
Possession of Drugs
Trafficking Marijuana
Vicodin
Sex Crimes
Computer Sex Crimes
Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles
Gross Sexual Imposition
Importuning
Ohio Offense Tiers
Ohio Sex Offender Registration
Public Indecency
Rape
Sexual Battery
Sexual Imposition
Unlawful Sexual Conduct
Voyeurism
High School and College Cases
ADD/ ADHD & Teen Use
Affluence & Teen Use
Alcohol & Teens
Cocaine & Teens
Heroin and Teens
Marijuana & Teens
Turbulent Teens: Advice for Parents
Underage Possession of Alcohol
Other Offenses
Assault
Bench Warrants
Bond Hearings
Criminal Damaging
Disorderly Conduct
Domestic Violence/Assault
Gambling Offenses
Juvenile Crimes
Probation Violations
Vandalism
Learn more about criminal defense
Get a copy of our DUI E-Book today
Get in Touch

Types of Informants

By Chelsea Lund, Summer Associate

Thanks to television and movies, the use of informants in aiding law enforcement has become general knowledge. Movies portray detectives following up on a tip by a fellow policeman. TV shows depict policemen questioning their criminal “contacts” in relation to an investigation. News stations report on arrests being made based on anonymous tips received. But when the directors and scripts are taken away, what weight is actually placed on the information informants provide?

In general, courts have identified three classes of informants. First is the identified citizen informant. This type of informant, i.e. an off-duty policeman, is deemed the most reliable of the three and is highly-credited by the courts. Because of his or her status and experience, a tip from someone who falls under this category may be highly reliable, and, as such, “a strong showing as to other indicia of reliability may be unnecessary.” State v. Burnap, 2012-Ohio-2047.

The second class of informants is the known informant from the criminal world who has provided previous reliable tips. This informant has established a relationship with the authorities, both as a criminal and as a past informant with accurate information and a willingness to cooperate. Because of this, law enforcement tends to value these types of tips as somewhat reliable.

The third type of informant, probably the most common and well-known, is the anonymous informant. This type of informant is classified as the least reliable of the three. By itself, the information provided is not sufficient to justify legal action. As stated in Adams v. Williams (1972), “when a tip lacks an indicia of reliability, further investigation is required.”

But how does this relate to DUI’s? State v. Burnap (2012) establishes that a tip from an anonymous informant who suspects a person of driving under the influence is “not sufficient enough to demonstrate a reasonable and articulable suspicion that [the driver] was engaged in unlawful behavior.” In order to establish reasonable suspicion, the tip must be “sufficiently corroborated through independent police work.” Adams v. Williams (1972). In other words, even after a tip from an anonymous informant is relayed to an on-duty officer, an investigatory stop can only be made if the officer makes personal observations that confirm the informant’s tip (i.e. traffic violations, erratic driving, etc.). Without these, such a stop would violate the driver’s Fourth Amendment rights and would therefore be considered unconstitutional.

Comments

No Comments Posted
614.675.4845
The Koffel Law Firm - Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyer
Located at 1801 Watermark Drive, Suite 350
Columbus, OH 43215
Local Phone: (614) 884-1100.

Attorney Web Design

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.