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Entrapment Defense Attorney

What is Entrapment? 

In Florida, Entrapment is a defense to criminal charges that is based upon the interactions between law enforcement and a defendant prior to or during the commission of a crime. Entrapment typically occurs when a L.E.O. uses coercion, persuasion, or other harassment which causes an individual to commit a crime they may not have otherwise committed. Florida Statute 777.201 states that a defendant shall be acquired of criminal charges if it is revealed that the crime was committed due to the coercion of law enforcement, resulting in entrapment. Entrapment may be a particularly important component of a drug sale or drug trafficking case. 

Types of Entrapment in Florida

Subjective Entrapment

The defense of subjective entrapment focused primarily on the defendant and how likely or predisposed they were to commit the accused crime in the first place.

Objective Entrapment

The defense of objective entrapment focuses on the conduct of the law enforcement officers and whether the actions of law enforcement were overbearing and directly lead to the commitment of a crime that otherwise, likely would not have occurred.

Limitations of the Entrapment Defense in Florida

Opportunity Does NOT Equal Entrapment

While law enforcement may not coerce or pressure an individual to commit a crime, they able to seize the “opportunity” of active criminal conduct. What this means is that if an individual is suspected of participating in drug crimes, the officers may then set up a “sting” operation in which they observe and allow the individual to participate in the crime. If a suspect is believed to be involved in criminal behavior and committing crimes, this is deemed an “opportunity” rather than entrapment. The difference is that opportunity simply involves the temptation to commit crime rather than entrapment, in which the defendant is forced or persuaded to commit the crime.

Example of Opportunity

John Doe is accused of selling drugs to an undercover law enforcement officer. In court, John explains that he was simply sitting at a bus stop when he was approached by an undercover officer, who asked if John could sell him some drugs for his sick family member. Police are allowed to lie and be dishonest. In this case, law enforcement simply gave John the opportunity to commit a crime but there was no pressure or overbearing behavior involved that forced John to sell the officer drugs.

Entrapment Only Applies to Government Agents

If a private individual convinces a defendant to commit a crime, this does not amount to entrapment as the law is intended to eliminate egregious conduct by police and other government officials.

Example of Entrapment

John Doe is accused of selling drugs to an undercover law enforcement officer. John had a prescription of a controlled substance for his personal use and it was revealed, in court, that law enforcement came to John’s place of residence repeatedly and asked John to sell him drugs for his sick family member. The pressure got to John and he eventually sold the drugs to the officer simply so he could be left alone. This is entrapment due to the officer’s overbearing actions and use of persuasion to convince John to sell the drugs.

Contact an Experienced Entrapment Defense Attorney 

If you believe you or a loved one may have fallen victim to entrapment in Tallahassee, Florida you need to contact an experienced entrapment defense lawyer near you today!!

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