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Defenses to Entrapment in California

Entrapment is when the police originate the idea of the illegal act and then induce the accused to engage in that act. However, if the person who originates the idea is not a police officer or connected to the government then it is not entrapment.

The purpose of the defense of entrapment is to discourage overzealous police officers from tricking people into committing crimes that they would not have committed otherwise.

The key to an entrapment defense is to show that the defendant was not predisposed to commit the illegal act and that had the police officer not entrapped him, he would not have committed the act. This means that the defense must show that the police officer’s actions would have induced a normally law abiding citizen to commit a crime. But, if the accused is predisposed to commit the criminal act and the police officer merely gives him the opportunity to complete the act then it is not entrapment.

For example an undercover police officer goes to Sally’s house once a day everyday for two weeks begging Sally to sell him drugs. Each time the police officer asks Sally for drugs Sally says no. Finally, the police officer tells Sally that the drugs are for his dying mother and are just so that she can live her few remaining days without pain. Sally breaks down and sells the officer some drugs. The police officer then arrests Sally for selling drugs to an undercover police officer. This amount of badgering is enough to provide an entrapment defense and get the case dismissed.

However, take Sam’s situation. Sam was arrested for felony drug charges. An undercover police officer calls Sam posing as a customer and asks to meet at the local 7-11. When they meet, the undercover officer gives Sam $50 and in turn Sam gives him the drugs. This is not entrapment because Sam was predisposed to commit the crime and the undercover officer merely gave him the opportunity to do so.

Remedies For Entrapment

If entrapment is a defense, an experienced attorney like those at Hoffman & Associates, can file a motion to suppress the evidence and get the case dismissed.