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What is entrapment?

| Aug 27, 2020 | Criminal Defense

If your child faces juvenile criminal charges, you likely want to clarify what happened and led to this situation. One thing that may come up in the course of your investigation into the fact s is entrapment. 

Unfortunately, most people misunderstand what entrapment is. Basically, it is when law enforcement tricks someone into committing a criminal act for the sole purpose of arresting that person and charging them with a crime.  The U.S. Department of Justice explains that when law enforcement is undercover and actions result in a criminal charge, there are two elements the defense must prove to show entrapment. 

Element one

The first element to prove is that law enforcement led your child to commit the crime. It is illegal for an officer to create a criminal situation and plant the idea of committing the crime in your child’s mind. To not be entrapment, your child must commit the crime without coercion or prompting from the officer. 

Element two

The second element requires showing law enforcement set up the whole situation and prompted your child to commit the crime. You have to show that your child did not have any prior desire to commit the criminal act. There needs to be enticement and encouragement from the officer that pushes your child to do the act that is not something he or she wanted to do or had any inclination to do. 

Having a criminal history is not enough for the prosecutor to prove intent and eliminate entrapment claims. This is very specific to the incident at hand. It is entrapment if the officer planted the idea and did the crime of his or her own free will.