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Matthew Radefeld & Dan Juengel
Matthew A. Radefeld and Daniel A. Juengel

What is entrapment?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2020 | Criminal Law |

People sometimes confuse lying with entrapment. The police can lie to you. A prime example is when an undercover agent pretends to be someone who is affiliated with some type of criminal activity. They play the role to get close to someone that they suspect is breaking the law so they can then gather evidence.

That is legal. Entrapment is not. So, what is the difference?

Entrapment is when the entire crime starts with the police officer and would not have happened otherwise. The officer decides to “implant in an innocent person’s mind the disposition to commit a criminal act” just so that they can then arrest them for that act.

For instance, imagine that you are looking for someone to buy drugs from you. An undercover officer goes to a location where you’re known to sell drugs and you offer to make the sale. They arrest you. This is legal on the basis that you would have sold the drugs either way. You didn’t know it was an officer and you would have sold to someone else if they hadn’t shown up.

The alternative is if you have never sold drugs in your life. Then an officer comes to you and asks you if you’d like to start working together. They claim they have access to drugs and they want you to help distribute them. This may be entrapment because that crime wouldn’t have happened if the officer hadn’t convinced you to do it.

Did you get arrested on drug charges after officers illegally influenced you? If so, it’s crucial to know how that can impact your case.