Most people have heard that entrapment, as an action carried out by the police, is illegal. An arrest made through these tactics should not stand in court. Even if you did commit a crime, the charges may be dropped.
Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions that people have about entrapment. For instance, they may believe that an undercover officer cannot make an arrest because they were not honest about being a police officer or even lied about their position. This is not true. Let’s break down what entrapment really is and how it works.
Influencing the crime
Generally speaking, entrapment is the process of approaching an innocent person, suggesting a crime and then helping them commit that crime just to make an arrest. It is illegal because the crime would never have happened without police involvement and would not have been necessary to arrest anyone. This is like a firefighter starting fires just to go put them out. The police cannot create crime just so they can make arrests.
This doesn’t mean they can’t be involved at all. Drug crimes are a common example. If someone offers to sell illegal drugs to an undercover officer and the officer agrees to buy, then arrests the person, that’s not entrapment just because the officer made the purchase. The seller was going to sell to someone, and it happened to be the officer.
It’s entrapment if someone who wasn’t selling drugs was given drugs by the officer, told to sell them, and then arrested when they did.
What steps can you take?
If you think you’re a victim of entrapment, you must know how it works, what rights you have and what legal steps to take next. No matter what your situation, it’s always wisest to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney on your defense as soon as possible.