If you have been arrested on drug-related charges, the police may promise you leniency if you agree to help them get other drug suspects. Although being an informant may help you escape criminal charges and punishment, it isn't free of complications. It may take a long time, your safety isn't guaranteed, and your success isn't guaranteed. Therefore, you shouldn't agree to anything before consulting a criminal lawyer. Here are some of the things with which the lawyer may help you:
Protecting Your Identity
The police will do their best to keep your identity safe and protect you, but don't be surprised if their primary target is to get their targets at all costs. Therefore, you need someone working exclusively for you, and this is the role your lawyer will play. The lawyer will go over the procedures and its legal consequences to ensure that the police's promise of keeping your identity secret is obeyed.
Coaching You for the Role
There are high chances that you have never played the role of a criminal informant. By hiring an experienced attorney, however, you are getting the help of someone who has dealt with similar cases in the past. This means the attorney can coach you on how to navigate the rough waters of being an informant without drowning. They know the pitfalls that previous informants have fallen in or the routes the successful ones have taken; knowing these increases your odds of success. They can also help you get the results that will be helpful to the police, meaning results that can hold up in court.
Holding the Police to their Promise
One of the dangers of agreeing to be an informant without consulting an attorney is that you can't be sure that the police's promise is legally binding and they will keep their word. Your attorney will see to it that the police are promising what they can deliver, and they won't turn on you later and tell you that its "in the hands of the judge, prosecutor or whatever."
Protecting You from Self-Incrimination
Lastly, there is always a danger that you may incriminate yourself by taking the role of a police informant. An attorney will help you avoid self-incrimination or see to it that you have immunity for such actions.
As you can see, you have a lot to gain by consulting an attorney before agreeing to be an informant. Even if you were planning on self-representation, reconsider your stance and consult one if the police ask you to help them bust other criminal suspects.