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What are the elements of entrapment?

On Behalf of | May 19, 2021 | Drug Crimes

If you face drug charges after dealing with an undercover officer, you may be wondering whether he or she performed a fair arrest. While officers have a right to investigate without revealing their identity, there are rules for soliciting a crime.

According to the United States Department of Justice, if you felt coerced into committing a crime, you may be able to use an entrapment defense.

Inducement of a crime

If you want to use an entrapment defense, the officer involved had to induce the crime. This is not the same as solicitation. For example, if an officer approaches a person to purchase an illegal substance and the person follows through with the sale, the officer can make an arrest. However, the officer cannot implant the idea of a crime into a person’s head.

An officer cannot coerce you into committing a crime. He or she cannot try to gain your sympathy to push you to commit a crime. For instance, if an officer tells you a sympathetic story as to why he or she needs money in an attempt to coerce you to purchase an illegal substance, this is coercion.

No predisposition to commit a crime

When you use the entrapment defense, you have to prove that you did not see the criminal act as an opportunity. You have to take into consideration the difference between an unwary innocent and an unwary criminal. Unwary criminals jump at the opportunity when it presents itself. However, an unwary innocent would not commit the crime on his or her own without coercion.

Prompt acceptance of an illegal action usually hurts an entrapment defense. It is important to examine all elements of your case when compiling a defense for the charges you are facing.