Is it malicious intent if a law officer purposefully divulges the name of an informant putting him and his family at risk?

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Is it malicious intent if a law officer purposefully divulges the name of an informant putting him and his family at risk?

My son was ticketed for possession of small amount of marijuana. Officer told my son he would have jail time for this offense, but if he went under cover wearing a wire to catch a drug dealer, there would be no ticket. My son did this, but then was told he had to do it again (indefinitely). He decided not to do this anymore and took the ticket instead. It was a fine, no court, no jail. When they arrested the dealer this officer wrote my son’s name on the ticket as an informant so that it could clearly be seen. The officer did this after telling me and my son he would not be found out.

Asked on April 16, 2011 under Personal Injury, Minnesota

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The officer should be suspended and sued but here is the issue, if your son was a minor when this all happened, that is one thing, but if he was an adult, there are a whole host of other issues. Informants generally have anonymity and the police have to maintain certain protocols. You need to immediately have the family call a criminal lawyer, get your son in rehabilitation (it will help his case a lot and shows remorse), get a civil attorney too and decide together if a) your son should have the criminal attorney and civil attorney speak with the prosecutor to have the ticket(s) and charges dismissed and expunged and if the police broke protocol and threats have been made, to ensure the police officer is suspended then fired and to sue the officer and department. Do not sit on this because if you do and the longer you wait, the less it seems you were truly in danger.


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