Is Entrapment by Police Illegal? What to Do If You Are a Victim

Entrapment is a defense to criminal charges that arises when law enforcement officers use coercion, persuasion, or other overbearing tactics to induce someone to commit a crime they otherwise would not commit.

Entrapment is not a crime itself, but it is not allowed either. It is only an affirmative defense that could help a defendant get their case dismissed or result in a not guilty verdict.

READ MORE: Can a Police Entrap You? Know Your Rights

What Are Some Examples of Entrapment?

Entrapment can occur in various situations, depending on the type of crime and the method of inducement used by the police.

Some common examples of entrapment include:

1.Pressuring a person to illegally sell their prescription drugs by claiming to have a medical emergency or a dying relative who needs the drugs

2.Repeatedly harassing someone to shoplift an item or sell drugs by threatening to expose their secrets, blackmailing them, or offering them money or favors

3.Posing as a minor online and soliciting sex from an adult, then arresting them for child pornography or statutory rape

4.Promising to reduce or drop charges against a suspect if they agree to implicate someone else in a crime, even if they have no evidence or knowledge of their involvement

g5.Providing the materials, equipment, or opportunity for someone to commit a crime, such as leaving a car unlocked with the keys inside, or giving someone a fake bomb or gun

How Can a Defendant Prove Entrapment?

To raise an entrapment defense, a defendant has to show two key elements: government inducement of the crime, and the defendant’s lack of predisposition to engage in the criminal conduct.

Government inducement means that the police initiated or encouraged the crime, and used methods that would persuade a normally law-abiding person to commit it.

Lack of predisposition means that the defendant was not ready or willing to commit the crime, and only did so because of the police’s influence.

Different states use either an objective or a subjective standard to determine whether entrapment occurred.

Under an objective standard, the focus is on the police’s conduct and whether it was reasonable or excessive.

Under a subjective standard, the focus is on the defendant’s character and whether they had a prior intent or inclination to commit the crime.

What Are the Consequences of Entrapment?

If a defendant successfully proves entrapment, the charges against them will be dismissed or they will be acquitted at trial.

However, entrapment is not an easy defense to establish, as it requires the defendant to admit to the crime and provide evidence of the police’s misconduct.

The prosecution will often argue that the defendant was not entrapped, but merely presented with an opportunity to commit a crime that they willingly took advantage of.

Entrapment is a controversial and complex issue that raises questions about the ethics and legality of police tactics.

While undercover operations and sting operations are legitimate and legal ways to catch criminals, they can also cross the line and violate the rights of innocent people.

Therefore, it is important to be aware of the signs of entrapment and seek legal help if you believe you have been a victim of it.


Entrapment is a defense to criminal charges that occurs when the police use unfair methods to persuade someone to commit a crime they would not otherwise commit.

To prove entrapment, a defendant has to show that the police induced the crime and that they had no prior intention to commit it.

Entrapment is not a crime itself, but it is not allowed either. It is a way to protect the rights of innocent people from abusive police tactics.

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