Facing criminal charges is bad enough. But what happens if you committed that crime under coercion from an undercover law enforcement official? In the State of Florida, this is what is known as entrapment, and it is illegal. Here’s a look at the most common forms of entrapment and how can you defend yourself against them.
What is Entrapment?
The Florida legislature outlines the laws regarding entrapment in Statute 777.201. Entrapment can be defined as a situation where police arrest an individual for committing a crime which they otherwise would not have committed if they were not coerced or encouraged by law enforcement officials. If the police use coercion to persuade an individual to commit a crime, that is entrapment, which is against the law.
Because of the nature of the coercion, entrapment applies only to law enforcement and government agencies. Entrapment legislation is designed to prevent outrageous, extreme, or unlawful conduct by government agencies and law enforcement officers.
The Three Most Common Forms of Entrapment
One of the most common forms of entrapment occurs as a result of prostitution. Law enforcement officers may try to entrap an individual if they believe they already have some involvement in a sex crime. By acting as someone interested in sex or engaging in illegal behavior, the law enforcement officer may entrap the person by coercion or other means of manipulation.
White Collar Crimes
If an employer feels that one or more of their employees is committing crimes, law enforcement may seek to catch the employee in the act of committing the offense. To do so, investigators may attempt to charm or induce said employee into committing the crime.
Reverse trafficking is a common police tactic in South Florida. Police use confidential informants to lure individuals that otherwise are not involved in the drug trade. Often times they find people in vulnerable financial situations and promise them quick cash to fix their money problems. The person is supplied with cash to buy a kilogram or more of cocaine. They are promised a small percentage of cash from the deal in exchange for their participation. It is a set up because the unsuspecting person is buying cocaine from an undercover officer.
Subjective Vs. Objective Entrapment Defenses
With regards to criminal defenses, there are two different standards for determining if entrapment occurred: objective and subjective. Using objective standards, jurors would be required to determine if the actions of the law enforcement officer caused a normally law-abiding individual to commit a crime. Subjective entrapment, on the other hand, requires jurors to decide if the individual who committed the crime was predisposed to commit the crime, regardless of the law enforcement officer’s actions. In the State of Florida, subjective entrapment is the test for whether entrapment occurred.
If You Are the Victim of Entrapment, Call Piotrowski Law Today
At Piotrowski Law, we offer experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense if you have been charged with a crime and your freedom and security are at risk. Chad Piotrowski has an extensive background in aggressively defending his clients from charges ranging from marijuana possession to armed drug trafficking and murder. A former prosecutor in Miami-Dade County, Chad Piotrowski has the unique ability to anticipate prosecution strategies to help build a solid defense to help obtain the best possible outcome for his clients.