What Is Criminal Entrapment?
Entrapment causes an otherwise innocent person to perform a criminal act for the purposes of prosecution; entrapment can only be committed by a government agent and in order to prove that entrapment took place, several other facts must be established. If a defense attorney can prove an entrapment existed, the defendant cannot be found guilty of the charges, as the government used entrapment to arrange the commission of the crime.
Is it Entrapment?
The government agents only commit entrapment when they implant the idea to perform a crime in an innocent person’s mind. An entrapment defense is irrelevant if the government merely afforded the opportunity to commit the crime; for entrapment to take place, the individual must prove unlikely to commit the crime in the absence of entrapment, and the government must also create an incentive for the defendant to commit the crime. Entrapment situations alter the risks and benefits to increase the likelihood the crime will occur.
In entrapment cases, inducement can refer to persuasion, misrepresentation, threats, coercion, harassment, or pleas based on sympathy. Entrapment defenses must first prove the government induced the defendant to commit the crime, next the entrapment case must prove the defendant’s predisposition indicates that the crime would not have occurred without entrapment by the government.
Defendants requiring little or no inducement to commit crimes may find entrapment difficult to prove, as they appear predisposed to criminal behavior. To establish that entrapment was not required for the crime to occur, prosecutors must demonstrate that prior to the alleged entrapment, the defendant exhibited behavior indicating a criminal predisposition.
The circumstances under which an entrapment defense may be used are fairly specific, but an attorney familiar with the circumstance for entrapment may be able to give you more information regarding certain situations.