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Using the Criminal Defense of Entrapment

Were you arrested for a criminal offense but feel that you were coerced to commit the crime by a law enforcement officer? Do you feel that the officer or informant resorted to threats, fraud, harassment, or any other similar behaviors to induce you to commit a crime? If so, speak with a criminal defense attorney in Tampa to determine if the entrapment defense can be used to gain a favorable resolution of your case.

Entrapment Defined

Florida Statute 777.201(1) provides the basis for the subjective entrapment defense. It defines entrapment as:

When a law enforcement officer, a person in cooperation with a law officer, or an agent of a law officer induces or encourages an individual to commit a crime they aren’t otherwise ready or likely to commit in order to obtain evidence of the commission of a crime.

Florida recognizes two forms of entrapment:

Subjective Entrapment

Subjective entrapment focuses on whether the person charged with the crime was predisposed to commit the offense. When using this defense, the defendant must prove that their version of the story (factual evidence) is the correct version and that a law enforcement (or an informant) induced the defendant to commit the crime although the defendant was not predisposed to do so.

Objective Entrapment

Objective entrapment focuses on the conduct of law enforcement and whether that conduct is considered egregious. Your attorney can request that the court reviews the case to examine whether law enforcement’s conduct was decent and fair. If it’s found that they overstepped their boundaries, the case may be dismissed.

Proving Innocence

If you have been prosecuted for a crime, acquittal is possible if it can be proven that the criminal conduct occurred as a result of entrapment by law enforcement. The individual must prove the following:

  1. They were encouraged to participate in the crime so that law enforcement could obtain evidence of the criminal offense.
  2. They committed the criminal act as a result of law enforcement’s inducement.
  3. Law enforcement persuaded the individual through methods which increased the likelihood that the individual would commit the crime although they were not otherwise ready to commit the crime.

The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime.

Why You Should Consult With an Attorney

If you believe you were tricked into committing a crime you otherwise didn’t intend to commit, it’s important that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa to determine whether entrapment can legitimately be used as a defense in your case.

For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm at (813) 712-8736 or submit our contact request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.