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Entrapment as a legal defense against criminal charges

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Criminal Law

Being accused of a crime in Florida will cause a person to wonder about their future. Depending on the severity of the charges, they can be incarcerated for an extended period, be ordered to pay hefty fines and possibly restitution to victims. It is imperative to lodge a strong defense regardless of the allegations.

In some cases, the person accused of the crime has an airtight alibi or there is a lack of evidence that they did anything wrong. In others, they might have committed the act but there are avenues to claim they should not be penalized for it. Entrapment is one such circumstance.

What is entrapment?

According to state law, a person can lodge a defense based on entrapment if they were persuaded, encouraged or induced to take part in the illegal activity. This must be done by a law enforcement officer, a person cooperating with law enforcement or someone who is an agent of a law enforcement officer.

This could occur with a person who was arrested and is helping law enforcement make arrests of others who are accused of taking part in an ongoing criminal enterprise like a drug trafficking or a theft ring. If they are coercing another person who law enforcement is pursuing when they otherwise might not have committed the crime, then it could be the basis for an entrapment defense. It can also come about through intimidation or through threats.

Claiming entrapment can be an effective criminal defense

People can be entrapped in just about any criminal activity whether it is a white collar crime, drugs, prostitution, theft and more. The circumstances of the investigation must be investigated to assess whether the person would not have committed the crime were it not for the behavior of the law enforcement officer, their person cooperating with them or their agent. Showing that entrapment took place can result in an acquittal and it is something to explore as part of a criminal defense if the arrested person claims they were coerced, threatened or persuaded.