In many criminal investigations, undercover police officers and informants are used to gather evidence to build a case.
However, when an informant or undercover cop entices a person to commit a crime, the actions of law enforcement may amount to entrapment.
What does that mean for defendants?
Entrapment can be difficult to prove in court. However, if the defense can show that the criminal conduct was the result of entrapment, the charges against the defendant may be dropped, or the defendant may be acquitted at trial.
Important to note: there is a standard for an entrapment defense. First, it must be shown that law enforcement persuaded or induced the defendant to commit a crime. Second, it must be shown that the defendant lacked the predisposition to engage in the criminal conduct. In other words, the court wants to see that you were not likely to commit the crime if the police hadn’t induced you to do so.
Also important to note: the Department of Justice states specifically that soliciting someone to commit a crime does not necessarily amount to entrapment. It is also not necessarily illegal for the government to use deceit or pretense to build a case against a defendant, but entrapment usually involves deceit on the part of the government.
If you believe you are a victim of entrapment, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney before making any statements to police. A lawyer with experience in complex criminal cases can review the facts of your case and implement a strategy for protecting your rights and freedom.