Entrapment arises when a law enforcement officer induces you to commit a crime you would otherwise not have committed. It may involve police subjecting you to undue pressure, trickery, persuasion or fraud to convince you to commit said crime.
Some defendants employ an entrapment defense in defending themselves against certain crimes like trafficking or possession. Using such a defense requires some strategizing.
What constitutes entrapment?
The series of events leading up to your arrest must have unfolded as follows to be able to successfully prove entrapment:
- You must not have had a predisposition to commit a crime
- The crime that you allegedly committed must have been induced by the law enforcement agent’s undue persuasion, trickery or incitement
- The idea for committing the crime must have originated with law enforcement
Entrapment is highly discouraged among law enforcement officers and frowned upon in the judicial system. If you have been a victim of such tactics, you cannot be found guilty of the charges against you as per Georgia state law.
A situation in which an entrapment defense may not work
In the case of Howell v. State, the accused was charged with attempted murder. Prosecutors argued that he had allegedly sought the services of a hitman in a bid to murder his wife. However, it turns out the assassin for hire was indeed a police officer, who even went ahead to help him plan and “commit” the crime.
The husband was arrested, charged and later claimed entrapment on behalf of the law enforcement official. The court did not accept the defense, and he was convicted of the crime. You cannot claim entrapment if you approached the police with an offer to commit a crime, and the officer gave you an opportunity to do so, which you took.
It can be a complex legal world, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. The most important part of it all is to ensure you are aware of your rights and how to protect them.