What is entrapment?

| Apr 25, 2021 | Criminal Defense

People often get a bit confused about entrapment. They may interpret it to mean that the police officers cannot lie to you. Some have made the erroneous claim that an undercover officer has to tell you that he or she is an officer or otherwise an arrest counts as entrapment. None of this is true. 

The police do not have to be honest with you, and it’s not entrapment to trick a suspect by pretending not to be an officer. If none of the above-referenced situations constitutes entrapment, then what is it?

Causing the crime to happen

An officer can engage in a crime or allow someone to commit one. They cannot cause that crime to happen, though.

For instance, an officer may pose as a drug dealer. If someone comes up to them and tries to buy drugs, they can arrest that person. They’re allowed to lie about having the drugs and facilitate the sale. 

Law enforcement officers cannot coerce or force someone to buy drugs, though. If the individual had no plans to commit a crime on their own, then an officer cannot make them do it and then arrest them for doing so. Police have to wait for an individual to commit a crime on their own. An arrest is only valid when someone commits a crime on their own volition.

Are you a victim of entrapment?

There are some gray areas when it comes to entrapment. The two sides may appear to overlap, but remember that the police can’t make you do anything illegal. They can, however, lie to you and trick you so that they’re in a position to arrest you if or when you do break the law. You need to know about your legal defense options if this happens to you.

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