The defense of entrapment can be used in a very wide range of crimes – everything from trafficking in drugs, to prostitution, to internet sex crimes, crimes involving child pornography, and so on. Lately, it seems that law enforcement is cracking down on internet sex crimes such as prostitution and traveling to meet minors (meeting via the internet). These are usually undercover sting operations where law enforcement poses as a call girl (or prostitute) or a minor looking for sex with an older man. The defense of entrapment can be a powerful tool in a defense attorney’s arsenal of defenses.
To raise the defense of entrapment, you will have to show that (1) you were induced or encouraged to engage in a conduct that constituted a crime, (2) you engaged in such conduct as the direct result of such inducement or encouragement, and (3) the person who induced or encouraged you was a law enforcement officer or someone cooperating with or acting as an agent of a law enforcement officer, and (4) the person who induced or encouraged you employed methods of persuasion or inducement that created a substantial risk that any person would commit the crime, and (5) you were not a person ready to commit the offense.
It is not considered entrapment if the State can show (beyond a reasonable doubt) that you were predisposed to commit the crime, however. In other words, if you would have committed the offence without the entrapment. Priors for the same offense can be used to demonstrate predisposition.
Nevertheless, you as the defendant will have the burden of proof in this defense. You must prove by the greater weight of the evidence that a police officer or agent induced or encouraged the crime charged. What the burden of greater weight of the evidence means is evidence which is more persuasive and convincing. If you can do this, the State must then prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the you were predisposed to commit the crime – an uphill battle for them. The predisposition the State must have existed prior to and independent of the inducement or encouragement.
If the jury finds that you were entrapped, they should find you not guilty of the crime.
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