Entrapment is a legal defense that can be used to defend against criminal accusations. When a law enforcement officer coerces or otherwise actively convinces a person to commit a crime, that person may allege entrapment. Entrapment is neither a crime nor a permissible practice. It’s a criminal defense that attorneys can employ when their clients are accused of committing a crime they feel was induced or forced by a law enforcement official. When law enforcement personnel employ pressure and other oppressive techniques to persuade someone to commit a crime, this is known as entrapment. Continue reading to find out more about entrapment.
Opportunity vs. Entrapment
Opportunity is a crucial part of entrapment. A judge or jury, for example, would expect a person to resist a common desire to break the law. As a result, just offering the chance to commit a crime does not constitute entrapment by a law enforcement official.
To detect and remove an illegal activity, law enforcement personnel are permitted to conduct sting operations, in which they create situations that allow persons to participate in criminal activity for which they may later be arrested and punished. These are said to as “opportunities” for those suspected of criminal conduct to commit crimes. An opportunity differs from entrapment in that it just entails the temptation to break the law rather than being forced to do so.
Entrapment, unlike opportunity, happens when law enforcement personnel persuade, harass, or otherwise unduly encourage a person to break the law when he or she would not otherwise. Attacks, pressure, long-term deceit, or other technique of coercion that causes the defendant to violate the law can all be utilized to entrap him.
Analyzing Entrapment Defence
Objective Standards – Jurors evaluate whether a police officer’s acts would have led any individual who typically follows the law to commit a crime under an objective standard after hearing evidence. The decisive criterion is whether police action, independent of mental condition, would have induced a reasonable person in identical circumstances to commit the crime.
Subjective standards – Jurors judge whether a defendant’s tendency to commit a crime renders them liable for their acts, regardless of whether a law enforcement official induced them to do so, after hearing evidence. Under a subjective test, an entrapment defense has a lower chance of success. The subjective test is used by most state and federal courts.
The burden of Proof and Entrapment
The entrapment defense is an affirmative one. As a result, defendants must persuade jurors that government agents’ acts amounted to entrapment “by a preponderance of the evidence.” A judgment that entrapment occurred resulted in a not guilty conviction in a state that uses an objective standard of entrapment. In a state that uses a subjective standard of entrapment, a finding of entrapment shifts the burden of evidence back to the prosecution to demonstrate beyond just a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty – as the inclination to commit the crime caused the defendant to conduct the crime, not the government agent’s activities.
Consult the experienced criminal lawyers at Autrey Law Firm for any issues regarding entrapment!