Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Citizen Informant Definition:

An ordinary citizen who has witnessed a crime and then reports it to law enforcement officials.

Related Terms: Citizenship

In Wallace, Justice Wallace (same name, presumably no relation to accused) wrote:

"Generally speaking, a citizen-informant is an ordinary citizen who has either been the victim of or a witness to a crime and who reports the pertinent facts to law enforcement officials.

"A citizen-informer is one who is motivated not by pecuniary gain, but by the desire to further justice. Information provided by a citizen-informant is at the high end of the tip-reliability scale.

"If an unquestionably honest citizen comes forward with a report of criminal activity - which if fabricated would subject him to criminal liability - rigorous scrutiny of the basis of his knowledge is unnecessary."

Similarly, in State v White, Justice Sievers of the Nebraska Court of Appeals:

"A citizen informant is a citizen who purports to have been the witness to a crime who is motivated by good citizenship and acts openly in aid of law enforcement. The legal effect is that an untested citizen informant who has personally observed the commission of a crime is presumptively reliable."

REFERENCES:

  • State v. White, 732 N.W. 2d 677 (2007)
  • Wallace v. State, 964 So. 2d 722 (District Court of Appeal of Florida, 2007)

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