The Theory of Entrapment is Commonly Misunderstood
You must understand what is happening to you and why if you face criminal charges. You can only make informed, intelligent decisions when your attorney takes the time to communicate with you meaningfully.
Metro Detroit’s Premier Criminal Defense Lawyers
In criminal law, entrapment is when a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit. If the crime is promoted by a private person who has no connection to law enforcement, that is not entrapment. Suppose a person was induced to commit a crime and was not otherwise predisposed to commit that offense. In that case, they will need a zealous criminal lawyer with experience and success with the entrapment defense.
The rationale of entrapment is to deter law enforcement from engaging in inappropriate behavior by inducing a person not already considering the commission of a crime, to engage in criminal activity. Some deception on behalf of the police is acceptable. However, the police cannot use fraud to entice a person to commit a crime that they were previously unwilling to commit. If the person is already planning or willing to commit a crime and the police just supplied the opportunity, that is not entrapment.
Defense Lawyer Defending Against Entrapment
Most states require a defendant to raise the defense of entrapment. Entrapment is not a constitutional defense; it is statutory and not available in all states. Michigan allows for a defense lawyer to raise the issue of entrapment on a felony or misdemeanor. Study after study shows that Michigan jurors are reluctant to buy into an entrapment defense. Successful lawyers defending against entrapment know what it takes to persuade a jury into seeing when police use improper tactics to coerce or trick someone into committing a crime.
Factors for Considering an Entrapment Defense
- If law enforcement officers appealed to the defendant’s sympathy,
- If the defendant has committed similar offenses before,
- If there was a long delay between the investigation and the arrest,
- If inducements, such as cash rewards or free drugs, were offered and would make the commission of a crime highly tempting to a law-abiding citizen,
- If there were offers of excessive consideration or another enticement (for example, $100.00 for a single joint),
- If there was a guarantee that the acts alleged as crimes were not illegal,
- If there were any threats of arrest or removal of children as inducements for the individual to commit a crime,
- If there existed any government procedures that tended to escalate the criminal guilt of the defendant (typically increasing drug amounts over multiple drug deliveries),
- If the investigation was targeted to get evidence against a particular person,
- If there were threats against the person or those important to them as an inducement.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some examples of entrapment?
Examples of entrapment include a police officer doing any of the following:
- claims they don’t have any money and will die if you don’t sell your prescription drugs to them,
- harassing someone via phone, mail, etc. to shoplift a laptop for their school studies because they are failing school and will be kicked out of college,
- threatening to expose a person’s love affair if they don’t sell drugs or commit an assault, and
- giving a drug dealer a package of “marijuana” to deliver but intentionally providing them fentanyl to increase the severity of the crime.
What is entrapment defense?
Entrapment is a defense to criminal accusations based on the fact that the defendant only committed the offense as a result of government harassment or compulsion. The crime would not have been committed if there had been no coercion.
What are the elements of entrapment?
A valid entrapment defense has two related elements: (1) government inducement of the crime and (2) the defendant’s lack of predisposition to engage in the criminal conduct.
What happens if entrapment is proven?
The judge or jury must find the defendant not guilty if he can prove entrapment by a preponderance of the evidence (a less stringent standard than reasonable doubt).
What’s considered entrapment?
When police officers pressure or convince someone to commit a crime, this is known as entrapment.
Is entrapment illegal in the US?
Entrapment isn’t illegal, but it’s also not permitted. A person who was entrapped is entitled to a “not guilty” verdict at trial.
What are the different types of entrapment?
Entrapment occurs most often in the following cases:
- Drug crimes
- Internet crimes
- Child pornography
- Solicitation of a minor
- Soliciting a prostitute
Is entrapment a legal defense?
Yes, entrapment is a legal and complete defense to a charge if the judge or jury finds that it is truthful and reasonable.
Is entrapment a constitutional defense?
Entrapment is not a legal concept in the United States Constitution. It is a recognized criminal law defense to police overreach in all states and federal courts.
Highly Experienced Detroit Area Criminal Lawyers Using Entrapment and All Other Defenses Permitted Under the Law
When you are facing criminal charges, it is scary. Things move quickly, and things are said that can be confusing and easy to misunderstand. Before anything is said or happens that might hurt you and your situation, it is crucial that you get the best legal representation available. You must protect yourself when your freedom is at stake.
The Detroit area criminal lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are proven fighters. They are well respected and have an impressive record of success against state and federal prosecutions. We take our obligation to our clients very seriously. We take the time to get to know you and treat you like family. Our defense lawyers have vast experience successfully defending clients using entrapment and all other defenses available under the law.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.