Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
The primary issue is whether probable cause to issue a warrant existed in the case. The more specific issue is whether an affidavit that relies upon information from a confidential informant be valid and support the issuance of a warrant absent a litany outlining the credibility of the informant and his information when the reliability of same can be inferred by the surrounding information in the affidavit.
The trial court dismissed (with prejudice) the charges against the defendant. On review, the Supreme Court of Connecticut found error, vacated the judgment of dismissal, and remanded the case back to the lower court for further proceedings.
Statement of facts: A roommate of a person that knew the defendant was interviewed by police prior to the complaint of a burglary, and then subsequent to said complaint. The affidavit made by this roommate was used in support of an arrest warrant petition, but was challenged on the basis of probable cause.
This affidavit did not specifically talk about how reliable this was, or any facts that relate to the reliability.
In Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108, 84 S.Ct. 1509, 12 L.Ed.2d 723 (1964), the so-called "two-pronged test" of the reliability of an affidavit based upon hearsay information was established: (1) "the magistrate must be informed of some of the underlying circumstances from which the informant concluded that [the facts were as he stated them] and [(2)] some of the underlying circumstances from which the officer concluded that the informant . . . Was `credible' or his information `reliable.'" Id., 114. The affidavit in this case satisfies the first prong of this test because it discloses that the information furnished by the informant was based upon his personal observation. The defendant does not contend otherwise. His claim is that the affidavit contains no underlying facts justifying a conclusion that the informant was reliable in respect to his statement that the defendant and Kennedy had been in possession of recently stolen goods.
Although the affidavit does not contain the usual recital of past experience with the informant to support his reliability, there are sufficient other indicia. The police had verified the accuracy of the informant's detailed description of the property taken in the theft with the account later given by the complainant and by actually receiving from the informant at his apartment the two cigarette cartons which were identifiable by the numbers stamped on them and their contents.
So essentially it's enough that there are other indicia of reliability, rather than a recital of past experience with the informant.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you have already clicked "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!