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Is entrapment a viable defense?

| Jun 10, 2021 | Criminal Defense

When it comes to drug investigations, an officer can work undercover to find criminals who buy or sell drugs. If you recently found yourself in an interaction with an undercover officer and face drug charges, you may have an entrapment defense.

According to the United States Department of Justice, an entrapment defense has two elements. These elements include government inducement of a crime and a lack of predisposition to engage in criminal conduct.

What is an entrapment defense?

An entrapment defense states that government agents, such as police offers cannot originate criminal design. In addition, an officer cannot plant the idea in your mind to commit a crime. Entrapment defenses hinge on the fact that the government cannot induce a crime. This does not mean that the officer cannot solicit a crime.

What constitutes entrapment?

To prove entrapment, you have to prove that you did not look for an opportunity to perpetrate the crime. Instead, you are the unwary innocent or someone who would not commit the crime under any normal circumstances. For example, the officer had to act in a way that would convince other law-abiding citizens to break the law. He or she may use your sympathy against you. In a drug case, an officer may convince you to purchase drugs because of a threat to him or her. There are many situations where a person may feel sympathetic and break the law. Officers cannot use those situations against you.

An entrapment defense can fall apart if you promptly accepted any offer from the officer. For example, if he or she offered you drugs and you accepted automatically.