What is Entrapment?
Written by Moses & Rooth on February 3, 2015
It is not uncommon for police tactics to cross over into entrapment territory. Various techniques used by police when making a drug crime arrest, sex crime arrest, or other arrest can quickly open the door to an entrapment defense. An experienced criminal defense attorney at Moses & Rooth can review your case and determine if you have been subject to entrapment.
Legal Definition of Entrapment
According to Florida Statute, entrapment occurs when a law enforcement officer, a person cooperating with law enforcement, or an agent of a law enforcement agency induces or encourages a person and as a direct result causes that person to commit a crime that they would not have done otherwise. If a cop coerces you into committing a crime that you would not have committed then you may have the defense of entrapment available to you. It is not only a police officer’s activities that may lead to entrapment, however. It is a common tactic of police to use informants when trying to make an arrest. If an informant’s activities cross the line into coercion then the possibility of an entrapment defense may exist. A cop simply lying to a suspect, however, is not considered to be entrapment. Police officers and agents of the police are allowed to lie when trying to make an arrest. Though, it is a fine line between an undercover police officer telling a lie to a suspect and lying to the point where a person is coerced into committing a crime that the person would not have committed. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help determine the difference.
There are two defenses to entrapment: objective and subjective. In Munoz v. State of Florida, the court determined that it will objectively review for entrapment under the due process clause of the Florida statute when egregious police conduct exists. Also in Munoz¸ the court established a three prong test for subjective entrapment:
- The defendant has the burden to prove that a police officer or someone acting on behalf of a law officer induced the defendant to commit the crime;
- The defendant has the burden to prove that they did not have a predisposition to commit the crime. If the defendant proves a lack of predisposition then the burden shifts to the prosecution to rebut the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt; and
- Whether a jury can hear and decide upon the entrapment defense.
Law enforcement officers or agents working on behalf of the police can become overzealous in their tactics when trying to make an arrest and violate your rights in doing so. An experienced criminal defense attorney can sit down and go over your arrest with you to determine if you are a victim of entrapment. If you have been arrested for a drug crime, sex crime, or other crime, let the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Moses & Rooth in Florida examine your case and determine if an entrapment defense exist for you. Contact us today to create a plan for your defense.