Being accused of a crime is an overwhelming experience but it is one that can be more successfully navigated with the help of a dedicated criminal defense attorney. Talking with your attorney as soon as possible after you have been arrested and accused of a crime is essential for identifying critical information that may ultimately lead to the dismissal of your charges or the reduction in their severity.
One popular defense to criminal charges is known as entrapment. This officially prohibits any conviction in which the defendant can show that he or she had no original intent to commit a crime and only did so because law enforcement agents like police officers coerced or persuaded them to do so. Law enforcement officers are eligible to provide opportunities for a suspected criminal to commit a crime such as through a sting or undercover operation but the police cannot manufacture crime on their own. Entrapment is what is known as an affirmative defense which means that the burden of proof falls to the defendant. The defendant has to prove three different elements in order for an entrapment defense to work in a criminal case. These are:
- The law enforcement agent must have introduced the idea of committing a crime or approach the defendant about committing a crime first.
- The defendant was not ready and willing to commit a crime.
- Law enforcement agents must have done more than just provide the opportunity to the defendant. They must have coerced or persuaded the defendant to commit the crime.
If you have already been charged with a crime, it is critical that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible to determine whether or not entrapment may be an appropriate defense. Entrapment is not the only defense that can help protect you from a criminal conviction and its many implications for your future.
Talking with your lawyer out of the gate gives you the best chance for preparing a defense strategy aligned with protecting your rights and minimizing consequences. If entrapment was involved, your lawyer needs to know right away to begin collecting evidence.