Do confidential sources have to testify in court

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Do confidential sources have to testify in court

Controlled buys case

Asked on February 13, 2019 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If the prosecution requires the confidential informer (CI) to testify to make their case, yes--though at at least in that circumstance, the judge may allow the source to testify with their identity in some way hidden or disguised. However, the prosecution will generally try NOT to have to rely on CI's, to make sure they remain confidential, and will use other evidence or witnesses if possible. 
If the defense somehow becomes aware of the CI, they can subpoena the CI to testify--though at that point, the CI is no longer "confidential" anyway.
 


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