Defending Your Innocence, Part 2: Entrapment

Crimes come in all shapes and sizes, from complicated money laundering and embezzlement schemes to various drug offenses, theft, assault, etc. Law enforcement officers typically use special programs and methods to track and pin down these offenses. However, in some cases, they may use deceptive methods to trick individuals into incriminating themselves in an ongoing investigation. When this happens, you have the right to defend yourself on the grounds of entrapment. Here is everything you need to know about the concept of entrapment in various crimes.

What Is Entrapment? 

Entrapment is the act of inducing a person to commit a crime they had not originally intended to do in order to institute a prosecution. Entrapment is referred to as an “affirmative defense” when used as a defense strategy. As such, it is your responsibility to prove that: 

  • Government agents approached and introduced the idea to you 
  • You were not willing to commit the crime
  • The agents engaged in coercive or improper conduct 

In addition, you need to show that either:

  • Any law-abiding person would have been inclined to commit the crime, judging by the actions of the government officials; or,
  • You did not have any susceptibility to commit the crime, despite the efforts of the law enforcement officers

Objective and Subjective Standards 

As the defendant, you have a unique burden to prove that the actions of the law enforcement officers would have inclined any law-abiding citizen to commit the crime, or that you lacked the susceptibility to commit the crime. These two approaches are known as objective and subjective standards, respectively, and their applications usually depend on whether you are in a subjective or objective state. 

The subjective standard involves asking the jurors to consider the actions of the law enforcement officers as well as the predisposition of the defendant to commit the crime. The idea is to determine the motivating factor behind the crime. Under the subjective standard, the prosecution has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had a predisposition to do that particular crime. On the other hand, you have to show that the law enforcement officer’s actions were so extreme that you had no option but to commit the crime. 

Under the objective standard, the jurors are asked to assess whether the actions of the law enforcement agent would have coerced a reasonable person to commit a crime. The defendant’s mental state is not considered in objective analysis. If you are able to successfully prove entrapment, the verdict is generally not guilty. 

Government Advantage 

When it comes to proving entrapment, the government works from a position of tremendous advantage. The prosecutors have access to unlimited resources and a plethora of statutes that define what a “criminal” behavior is. This means that while you may not know what the law is, law enforcement agents do.

If you have been charged with a crime, the first thing you need to do is to hire an aggressive attorney. At the Law Offices of Barry M. Wax, we can help you develop a solid defense strategy as early as possible to ensure a positive outcome in your case. Contact us now at (305) 373-4400.

Law Offices of Barry M. Wax