Law enforcement agencies will pursue every available avenue when looking to build a case. Whether tracking suspects, reviewing surveillance evidence, or reaching out to potential informants, collecting evidence is critical to getting a conviction. According to WFSA local reports, Alabama Crimestoppers has awarded more than $100,000 to informants who have helped law enforcement solve crimes throughout the state. While the prosecution benefits from disposable funds, many defendants do not have the same luxury when building their defense.
The Central Alabama Crimestoppers organization works closely with law enforcement departments throughout the state. According to a representative, the agency just recently used its resources to distribute information to news media, field phone calls, and interview informants to apprehend individuals suspected of a burglary. The agency is responsible for collecting any information relevant to stopping a crime or catching individuals who have committed a crime. They will often take calls from relatives of a suspect, someone who knows the suspect, such as a neighbor or colleague, or another individual who has had contact with a suspect, such as a bank teller. In contacting Crimestoppers, the informants can report potentially incriminating information without facing retaliation. The organization offers an anonymous tip line to help protect informants who want to report a crime.
While law enforcement agencies can use anonymous tip lines, defendants should be aware that they are up against multiple agencies and unidentified informants. When facing criminal charges, it is important to work with an experienced defense attorney who can leverage the playing field. Our Birmingham criminal defense attorneys are experienced with independent investigations on behalf of our clients. We will also review all evidence submitted by the prosecution and look for any evidence that was illegally obtained or is inadmissible on other grounds. When up against the significant resources of law enforcement agencies throughout Alabama, defendants need strategic and aggressive advocacy to reduce charges and penalties.
Representatives from Crimestoppers report that they don’t have caller ID or voicemail; however, they do have a live answering service 24-hours a day. Crimestoppers has been used to pursue criminal charges in a wide range of cases, involving petty theft or property crimes, as well violent crimes, kidnappings, bank robberies, or homicides. While Crimestoppers enthusiasts say that the hotline helps to get criminals off the street, it also can result in false reports and false accusations. A woman seeking to prevent her husband from getting custody can report violent crimes or make other false reports to invoke criminal charges.
Anyone with a motive for revenge or retaliation can use the hotline without consequences. For individuals who are under investigation or charged with a crime, the results can be life-altering. A conviction can result in a damaged reputation, significant fines, loss of custody, prison time, and other penalties. If you have been charged because of an anonymous tip, an experienced attorney can help you to protect your rights. While the Crimestoppers agents and law enforcement agencies believe that the hotline is a valuable tool, all evidence obtained through anonymous sources should be scrutinized. According to reports, information obtained through Crimestoppers has resulted in 1460 arrests since 1997. This year alone, the agency has already paid out over $8,000.
More Blog Entries:
Aggressive Prosecution of Cyber Crimes in Alabama, November 3, 2013, Birmingham Drug Defense Lawyer Blog
Arrested Juveniles More Apt to Offer False Confessions, Sept. 24, 2013, Birmingham Drug Defense Lawyer Blog