Criminal Law

Purpose and Scope

  1. The purpose of these Guidelines is to set policy regarding the use of Confidential Informants, as defined below, in criminal investigations and prosecutions by all Department of Justice Law Enforcement Agencies and Federal Prosecuting Offices, as defined below.
  2. These Guidelines do not apply to the use of Cooperating Defendants/Witnesses or Sources of Information, as defined below, unless a Department of Justice Law Enforcement Agency, in its discretion, chooses to apply these Guidelines to such persons.
  3. These Guidelines are mandatory and supersede the Attorney General's Guidelines on the Use of Informants in Domestic Security, Organized Crime, and Other Criminal Investigations (December 15, 1976); the Attorney General's Guidelines on FBI Use of Informants and Confidential Sources (December 2, 1980); Resolution 18 of the Office of Investigative Agency Policies (August 15, 1996); and any other guidelines or policies that are inconsistent with these Guidelines. These Guidelines do not supersede otherwise applicable ethical obligations of Department of Justice attorneys, which can, in certain circumstances (for example, with respect to contacts with represented persons), have an impact on law enforcement agents' conduct.
  4. These Guidelines do not limit the ability of a Department of Justice Law Enforcement Agency to impose additional restrictions on the use of Confidential Informants.
  5. These Guidelines apply to the use of a Confidential Informant in a foreign country only to the extent that the Confidential Informant is reasonably likely to be called to testify in a domestic case.
  6. These Guidelines do not apply to the use of Confidential Informants in foreign intelligence or foreign counterintelligence investigations.