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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27769
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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An officer followed me across town before pulling me over

Customer Question

An officer followed me across town before pulling me over for changing lanes often on the interstate. After finding out I was on probation, the officer asked me to help him out as a ci? Is this legal? Will I need an attorney?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.


It's a matter of policy for officers to ask suspects and arrestees to work as confidential informants in trade for a recommendation for leniency on their case. It's lawful for them to do it, but they may or may not keep their promises, and that's lawful too. Police are allowed to use trickery and to lie in order to get information about crime.

So you don't have to seriously consider working as a CI and if you do, it won't necessarily stop your arrest or prosecution. If you want to work as a CI, you're better to let the case get to court and have your lawyer cut that deal with the prosecutor. That way you know for sure that if you hold up your end, the state will hold up its agreement too, as prosecutors are officers of the court and they are not allowed to lie when offering a deal.

If the only thing you were cited for was a traffic violation, too frequent lane changing is unlikely to be the basis of a probation violation, and you could resolve it without a lawyer. If you were charged with a criminal offense rather than a traffic violation, however, then your probation could be at risk, and you ought to let your lawyer know so that he can handle your new matter.