It is not uncommon to hear that people were “set up” when they are facing criminal charges. After all, nobody wants to admit that they committed a crime. However, there may be more truth to that statement than people realize. Entrapment cases are especially common in the state of Florida leading to a number of drug-related arrests. It is important that people understand the complicated definition of entrapment and how it measures up in court.
Cases That May Include Entrapment
Drug cases are the most common forms of potential entrapment cases. Basically, when a person is convicted of a drug crime, officers have the opportunity to use that person as an informant in return for a reduction to their sentence. For example, if a person is looking at 25 years in prison, if they become an informant for more serious cases, then they may get a couple of years off their sentence for every successful conviction they help with. Informants have a lot to gain by potentially entrapping another person.
What is Entrapment?
Entrapment is a complex term. When it comes to the criminal arena, entrapment essentially occurs when a person is encouraged to commit a crime. However, there are a number of factors that go into making the determination on whether or not entrapment actually occurred. Basically, if a person already had the intention to follow through with a criminal act, it does not matter whether or not they were encouraged to do so by an undercover police officer or informant. However, there are a number of factors that the court considers when making a determination about guilt or innocence when the crime involved undercover agents and/or informants.
There are two types of entrapment defenses that are accepted by Florida law: subjective and objective. They are based on the following:
- Subjective entrapment: This defense focuses primarily on the defendant. Was the accused most likely going to commit the crime regardless of who was there to encourage him or her? If the answer is no, then the subjective entrapment defense could hold weight in court.
- Objective entrapment: This defense focuses more on the behavior and conduct of the involved law enforcement officers. The defense focuses primarily on whether or not the officer acted within due process.
Once the defense raises any questions about whether or not the crime was committed due to entrapment, then the burden is shifted to the prosecution. It is the prosecution’s duty to prove that the accused had intent despite whoever else was involved. If the prosecution to fails to prove without a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime without encouragement from others, then the jury must find the person not guilty.
If you or someone you know is facing charges associated with entrapment, reach out for help. Scott Skier is located in West Palm Beach, Florida. He understands the complications and stress associated with legal matters and he is there to assist you. Attorney Skier has years of experience creating quality defense strategies for each of his clients. Allow his knowledge to work for you. Reach out to him today for a free consultation.