Why Entrapment Matters to Your Criminal Case
It’s your gut feeling that the police set you up. In fact, you’re so upset that you mention it to your criminal defense attorney. You’ve watched enough television crime shows to wonder if that means your arrest seemed to involve entrapment. Could it possibly pertain to your situation? And, what does entrapment really mean?
First and foremost, you need to know that entrapment is considered a legal defense in criminal cases. However, to understand it better, you need to know the basics of the law.
The Law and Entrapment
The New Jersey Legislature explicitly defines entrapment in NJSA 2C:2-12. Let’s break down some of the components that will be required to claim entrapment as a defense:
- Law enforcement official or someone acting on their behalf perpetuates the entrapment to obtain evidence of a criminal offense
- Said individual intentionally makes false representations suggesting that the conduct is not prohibited, or
- Employs methods of persuasion or inducement which create a substantial risk that such an offense will be committed by persons other than those who are ready to commit it.
If entrapment can be proven in court, the person accused of the crime may be acquitted. There must be proof that the offense was committed as a result of the entrapment.
However, there is an exception to the entrapment defense. It cannot be used if the accused caused or threatened bodily harm.
Examples of Entrapment
More than likely, you already have your own ideas as to what may constitute entrapment. Here are some examples:
- Cynthia is sitting in a local bar when someone comes in and offers to sell her a diamond bracelet. Cynthia was not in the market to purchase jewelry but is persuaded into the sale because it is a good deal. It turns out the bracelet is stolen and the individual selling it is an undercover police officer. Cynthia is arrested for buying stolen goods. Cynthia’s attorney may offer an entrapment defense based on the circumstances.
- Michael is out with friends when a beautiful woman suggests that they should go off and have some fun. She makes some comments indicating that she would be interested in intimacy with a price tag. Michael has never used a prostitute’s services but is curious. It turns out the woman is actually an undercover policewoman. When Michael faces charges, his attorney tells the court he was entrapped. Michael is acquitted.
Perhaps the most famous of all successful entrapment defenses was the one used by carmaker John DeLorean. DeLorean was accused of trafficking millions of dollars of cocaine. You can read here how entrapment played into a federal jury’s decision to free him of the charges.
Are you facing criminal charges? Entrapment is only one affirmative defense used by experienced criminal attorneys. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone to see how we can assist you.