Entrapment can be defined in a wide variety of ways, depending on the approach. The different definition of entrapment depends largely on which type of court is hearing your case. In the state of California, there are certain conditions that must be met for a case to be qualified as Entrapment and used by Orange County DUI lawyer in a defense case. First, the law enforcement officer must be established to have communicated with you prior to the crime. Secondly, it must be established that the officer has played a significant role in inducing the offender to commit the said crime, and lastly, the officer must be established to have put the offender in such a position that a normal “law-abiding” person would have been moved to commit the crime.
The Basis of Entrapment
Law enforcement officials are required by law and an obligation to enforce the law. These officials are also required to carry out the responsibility of investigating criminal offenses. As part of their ethics and code of conduct, law enforcement officials are not expected to instigate criminal behavior or suggest that a criminal act be engaged in. However, this cannot be said to hold true across the board for all law enforcement officials. Law enforcement officials may in some cases suggest illegal activities for others to partake in. when an officer has been established to have invited you to partake in illegal activity, then such a case may qualify as entrapment.
Having established that for a case to qualify as entrapment, there is a need to establish three conditions, below are what you need to know about each condition which will play a significant role in establishing a case as entrapment as part of a lawyer’s defense strategy.
The first part to qualifying a case as entrapment is establishing that there was communication between the offender and the law enforcement officer prior to the crime. For this, it is pretty straightforward as you can only be trapped through some form of communication with the law enforcement officer. However, in the case the officer may have, through a third party, communicated with you, this condition will still have been met.
The second part involves inducing you to participate in the crime. This can be in the form of verbal threats or convincing statements made towards shaping your choices. This could also be in the form of pressure mounted using whatever item or details as leverage. If you have been threatened, harassed, assaulted and subjected to other forms of abuse which may have influenced your decision to participate in the crime, then the second condition for establishing a case as entrapment has been met.
The last condition, however, requires that the law enforcement officer puts you in such a situation that you have no other choice than to yield to the demands of participating in the criminal act. To establish this condition, it has to be ascertained that the law enforcement officer had in truth cajoled you and put you in such a scenario that you couldn’t resist making the ill-advised decision.
When it comes to entrapment, it is important to note that law enforcement officers have a lot of leeways that can be exploited to their advantage and the disadvantage of an offender. As an undercover law enforcement officer, personnel is allowed a wide range of flexibility as regards what can be done and what can’t, however, the law enforcement officer or whomever they claim to be for the purpose of the undercover assignment cannot claim such acts are not criminal.
When it isn’t entrapment
While many people would wish to claim entrapment as part of their criminal defense strategy, it is important to note that the case may not stand in all instances, especially when certain facts cannot be confirmed to back up the claims. You should not make the mistake of thinking because a crime was suggested by a law enforcement agent, it is an automatic entrapment.
The United States Supreme court stated that the fact that you have been presented with an opportunity to commit a crime does not defeat the prosecution. This, in essence, means that you as a law abiding citizen would not see a car with the keys in the ignition and unlocked doors as an invitation to steal it.
If you have been approached by an officer of the law and presented with an opportunity in the criminal world, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have been trapped as you have only successfully proven one of the three conditions for entrapment true. However, when a law enforcement officer makes the crime appealing such that you are induced to want to participate in it, then you would be able to prove the second requirement.
If you did not at any point object to committing the crime, you would not in any way be able to prove the third point for which your case could qualify as entrapment. As a law-abiding citizen, you wouldn’t steal such an unlocked car with the keys in the ignition, however, in the face of threats, you may give in to the criminal request thus completing all three requirements of an entrapment defense.
In a similar vein, you should know that If an undercover agent has asked you to carry out a task which in itself is not a crime but will require you to commit one or more crimes to achieve, this cannot be regarded as entrapment. A law-abiding person, after considering the pros and cons of the task may abandon it, however, engaging in such a task without pressure or threat indicates the willingness of such a person to break the law.
Where your lawyer comes in
While this is barely even the surface of entrapment, as it can be a complex arm of the law and a concept which is rather complex to prove and build a defense on, it is recommended that you seek out the services of experts to be able to better understand this aspect of law and draw the line as to whether your case qualified to be termed an entrapment or not.