The Defendant Did It, But…EntrapmentA defense to criminal charges that a skilled criminal defense attorney could present on behalf of a defendant in a court of law is the defense of entrapment. What is entrapment? If the police coerce or engage an individual into criminal activity, you have a case. Often, a person will need to have been approached by law enforcement and encouraged strongly to commit the alleged crime for a defense lawyer to prove the crime took place. It commonly involves tactics by the cops that were too overbearing for the defendant to respond to properly.

The Defense Of Entrapment In California

In the State of California, entrapment is a defense that a criminal defense attorney may use if it is strongly believed the police led an otherwise law abiding citizen to take part in criminal activity. The defense will have to prove that it took place, relying on evidence to defend the claim. While law enforcement officials are entitled to open the door for a criminal act to take place, they cannot use such tactics as badgering, coaxing or importuning to get that person to commit a crime.

Entrapment Is More Than An Opportunity

One must understand that the police must have gone beyond simply offering the opportunity to engage in illegal activity for it to be a case. If the court believes that most law abiding citizens would have been able to turn down the opportunity to commit a crime – walking away from the temptation – then the defense of entrapment most likely will not be beneficial to present in a court of law. A defense arises when the cops relied on the use of threats, harassment, fraud or flattery to induce the defendant to commit an illegal act.

Proving Entrapment

It is important for anyone charged with a crime to understand that the prosecution must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” for a conviction. This means that the evidence must be strong enough to prove the defendant’s guilt, and there is no other possible explanation for how or why the crime took place other than the defendant’s willing involvement. It is the job of the criminal defense attorney to instill doubt in the courtroom, especially when using the defense of entrapment. If the jury believes the police may have used illegal tactics to get the defendant to do the crime, then the attorney is doing his or her job. In the end, entrapment is believed to have taken place if it is likely the individual would not have been charged with a crime had the officers not strong-armed him or her to do the act.