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Understanding the basics of entrapment

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Entrapment is a legal defense that you can use if you feel that law enforcement unfairly induced you into committing a crime. Understanding what constitutes entrapment and how to argue it in court can be essential for certain cases.

There are a few things to consider when it comes to using entrapment as your defense.

What is entrapment?

Entrapment occurs when law enforcement causes someone to commit a criminal act that they otherwise wouldn’t have committed without the persuasion and inducement of police. This often happens through undercover operations and sting operations.

For a defendant to argue entrapment, there must be no predisposition to committing the crime beforehand. Predisposition considers the defendant’s past criminal record, reputation, and readiness to commit the crime. Entrapment claims will fail if the defendant exhibits intent to commit the crime.

How can you prove entrapment?

The burden of proof falls on the defendant to show entrapment through inducement or persuasion by police. Factors like the creation of “crime opportunity” by police, repeated solicitation to commit the crime or appeals to sympathy or friendship can demonstrate entrapment.

Police simply affording the opportunity to commit a crime does not qualify as entrapment on its own. There must be coercion applied on the part of law enforcement through manipulative or abusive tactics.

Entrapment requires evidence that law enforcement induced a defendant to commit a crime they otherwise wouldn’t have without police persuasion or coercion. When you can prove a setup and encouragement on the part of the police, you have grounds to fight the charges.