Do You Know Your Rights? Are Police Allowed To Entrap You With Drugs?

Entrapment is a defense to criminal charges that arises when law enforcement officers use coercion, fraud, or other overbearing tactics to induce someone to commit a crime.

In this article, we will explain what entrapment is, how to prove it, and what are some common examples of entrapment involving drugs.

What is Entrapment?

POLICE ENTRAPMENT

The key element of entrapment is that the government agent initiates the criminal activity and overcomes the person’s will to obey the law.

Entrapment is different from providing an opportunity to commit a crime.

For example, if a police officer poses as a drug buyer and asks a drug dealer to sell them some drugs, that is not entrapment.

The police officer is merely offering an opportunity for the drug dealer to break the law, which they were already willing to do.

However, if the police officer repeatedly harasses, threatens, or lies to the drug dealer to make them sell drugs, that may be entrapment.

How to Prove Entrapment?

Different states have different standards for proving entrapment.

There are two main approaches: the subjective standard and the objective standard.

How is Entrapment Determined

The Subjective Standard

The subjective standard focuses on the defendant’s state of mind and predisposition to commit the crime.

Under this standard, the defendant has to show that they were not ready or willing to commit the crime, and that they only did so because of the government agent’s undue influence.

The prosecution can counter this by showing that the defendant had a prior history of committing similar crimes, or that they showed enthusiasm or eagerness to commit the crime.

The Objective Standard

The objective standard focuses on the government agent’s conduct and whether it was reasonable or outrageous.

Under this standard, the defendant has to show that the government agent’s actions would have induced a normally law-abiding person to commit the crime.

The prosecution can counter this by showing that the government agent’s actions were justified by a legitimate law enforcement purpose, or that they were not excessively coercive or deceptive.

What are Some Examples of Entrapment Involving Drugs?

Entrapment involving drugs can take many forms, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case.

POLICE E Examples of EntrapmentNTRAPMENT

Here are some hypothetical examples of entrapment and non-entrapment involving drugs:

Entrapment

A police officer befriends a recovering drug addict and offers to help them with their financial and personal problems.

The police officer then repeatedly asks the drug addict to buy some drugs for them, claiming that they need them for their sick mother.

The drug addict eventually agrees and buys some drugs from a dealer.

The police officer then arrests the drug addict for drug possession.

Non-entrapment

A police officer infiltrates a drug trafficking organization and pretends to be a drug supplier.

The police officer meets with a drug distributor and offers to sell them a large quantity of drugs at a discounted price.

The drug distributor agrees and pays the police officer.

The police officer then arrests the drug distributor for drug trafficking.

Entrapment

A confidential informant approaches a college student and asks them if they know where to get some marijuana.

The college student says no and tries to end the conversation. The confidential informant persists and tells the college student that they have a lot of money and will pay them a generous commission if they can find some marijuana for them.

The confidential informant also says that they are not a cop and that they are not setting them up.

The college student eventually agrees and contacts a friend who sells marijuana.

The confidential informant then arrests the college student for drug distribution.

Non-entrapment

A confidential informant approaches a college student and asks them if they know where to get some marijuana.

The college student says yes and offers to sell some marijuana to the confidential informant.

The confidential informant agrees and pays the college student. The confidential informant then arrests the college student for drug distribution.

FAQs

Can I claim entrapment if I was drunk or high when I committed the crime?

No, being intoxicated does not affect your ability to claim entrapment.

However, it may affect your credibility and the strength of your defense.

Can I claim entrapment if I was entrapped by a private person, not a government agent?

No, entrapment only applies when the person who induced you to commit the crime was acting on behalf of the government, such as a police officer, a confidential informant, or an undercover agent.

Can I claim entrapment if I was entrapped by a government agent from another state or country?

Yes, entrapment can apply regardless of the jurisdiction or nationality of the government agent who entrapped you.

However, you may face some challenges in proving your defense, such as obtaining evidence and witnesses from another state or country.

Can I claim entrapment if I was entrapped by a government agent who was acting illegally or without authorization?

Yes, entrapment can apply even if the government agent who entrapped you was violating the law or their official duties.

However, you may have to prove that the government agent was not acting in good faith or for a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

Conclusion

Entrapment is a complex and controversial defense to criminal charges involving drugs.

If you believe that you were entrapped by a government agent, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

An attorney can help you evaluate your case, gather evidence, and present your defense in court.

Entrapment is not an easy defense to prove, but it may be your best chance to avoid a conviction and protect your rights.

 

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