Peter Blair | August 19, 2016 | Entrapment
People will sometimes use entrapment as a defense in their criminal cases because “Government agents may not originate a criminal design or implant in an innocent person’s mind the disposition to commit a criminal act” according to Jacobson v. United States. But what does this mean? It means that, at some point in your case, an undercover agent or informant convinced you to commit a crime that you were not predisposed to commit. If entrapment is found to be at the center of your case, you cannot be convicted for the crime.
Let’s look at an example of how this works. Let’s say that a man named Eugene is walking down the street at night after getting off of work. A law enforcement officer undercover as a normal citizen attempts to convince him to buy a bag of marijuana. He continuously says that he does not want to purchase it, but the law enforcement officer is so convincing that he is able to convince Eugene to buy the bag. Then, consider the fact that Eugene is arrested by the undercover cop. He is able to use entrapment as a defense because he was basically “tricked” into buying the bag this one time by a police officer who had no business doing so. If Eugene had been a drug addict prior and had arrests for this very same thing, he would probably not be able to use the entrapment defense. But just this once he would be able to bring it up as a way to defend himself from the crime.
Inducement and How it Affects Your Case
Many times, entrapment is accepted as a defense because an undercover cop was insistent even though the defendant was resistant. In any case where an undercover cop attempts to sell drugs and the defendant does not resist, entrapment can probably not be used. However, what happens if the defendant resisted many times? What if they repeatedly told the cop that they did not want to buy the drugs but felt like they had no choice in the end? This is where entrapment comes into play.
To prove that you were induced, you have to prove more than somebody simply asking you to commit a crime. You may find in your specific case that a law enforcement official has lies about certain facts by covering up specific names or associates involved in the crime. You must be able to show some mild coercion in your case in many circumstances. Did the officer act like they were attempting to gain sympathy by making you buy the drugs, or used your friends or family against you? If the judge is able to find that a law enforcement officer pressured you to commit a crime, then inducement will probably be found. Under this premise, you should be found innocent.
The problem is, there are many risks involved with using an entrapment defense. You must basically be forefront about the fact that, in any other situation, what you did would have been considered a crime. The prosecutor could essentially be invited to speak about your past and use these facts against you to make a case. Depending on the damaging evidence they have, you may not be able to recover as you expected. This is why it is extremely crucial to have a defense attorney on your side throughout these cases. Give us a call at The Law Office of Peter Blair today for more information and we will extend a helping hand to you.