Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Look at the Entrapment Defense

Some police investigations can turn into actual operations to target criminal suspects. The unknowing suspect, however, may be suddenly fooled into actually committing a crime, which may have been a possible entrapment operation in the works. It is then up to an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer to get to the truth for the sake of the accused.

Entrapment is a defense used in criminal charges that is based on the interaction between officers of the law and the defendant before the alleged crime took place. A typical scenario plays out similarly to the case mentioned above, where law enforcement officers use coercion to encourage someone to commit a crime. It’s not, however, simply presenting an opportunity to commit a crime, but using threats, harassment, fraud or other distasteful tactics to get a person to carry out an illegal act.

Assessing an entrapment defense is subject to either an objective or a subjective standard. Florida has a subjective standard, meaning that defendants who claim entrapment have to be able to prove it by a preponderance of the evidence that an officer of the law encouraged them to commit a crime. There should also be proof that the defendant would not have committed the crime if not for the persuasion of the law enforcement officer.

Entrapment is usually claimed in government sting operations that involve drug dealing, bribery or sex offenses. Those who are successful in showing entrapment will very likely avoid being convicted of the crime in the end.

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