The Role of Identified Informants

Sacramento DUI attorneyIf you have been arrested for driving under the influence due to a tip to the police, you may be wondering how that affects your case. An experienced Sacramento DUI attorney may be able to answer your questions. In general, courts give significant leeway to tips by informants who identify themselves to the police. This is because informants who identify themselves are more likely to give truthful information. (There are civil and criminal penalties for informants who do not tell the truth.) The following cases illustrate this:

In one Missouri case, an eyewitness personally informed a police officer that he had seen a Jeep of a certain color driving erratically. The court found that the detention and arrest that came out of that tip was lawful. In a Kansas case, an informant identified her name and address to the police and passed along a description of a car. The court upheld the detention based on that tip because an informant who provides his or her name and address has a presumption of credibility. In one Arkansas case, a tipster gave his name to the police and said that he had observed some criminal activity, which was later confirmed by the police. The detention arising out of that tip was upheld. And in another Massachusetts case, a tip by a known citizen was deemed to be a reliable and sufficient justification for a stop.

Additionally, in a Florida case, an informant’s tip was deemed highly reliable due to the facts of the case. The informant was a manager at a fast food restaurant who dialed emergency services and reported what she thought to be a DUI driver. The informant gave her name, address, and current location to the 911 operator, as well as the vehicle’s license plate number and description. This tip was considered highly reliable.

There are cases where identification by an informant is not sufficient to justify a DUI stop. In a Utah case, a woman reported a nonviolent domestic dispute and that her boyfriend had been drinking and left the house, but this information was deemed insufficient to justify stopping the boyfriend on suspicion of DUI.

If you have further questions about the law regarding tipsters, contact experienced Sacramento DUI attorney Param Pabla for a free initial consultation.

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