Tuesday, May 21, 2013

MBE Fast Fact: Informants

The MBE writers can go a few ways when testing how informants influence the validity of a search warrant. In other words, warrants are issued if there is probable cause to believe that evidence will be found on the person or premises at the time the warrant is executed. An affidavit is submitted by the police to the magistrate setting forth circumstances allowing the magistrate to determine if this standard has been satisfied. But what if the information on the affidavit is entirely the result of information learned from an informant, and one whose credibility is questioned?

In fact, an affidavit can be sufficient even though the informer’s credibility is questioned, provided that the totality of the circumstances indicate that the affidavit presents reliable and credible information.

Note also that there is no requirement that the informer’s identity be revealed.

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