Police Entrapment in Drug Investigations
You may have heard about entrapment, but what is it, when can it be used in a drug case, and how can it help?
Entrapment is a positive defense, or affirmative defense, under the law that allows for individuals who are being charged with a crime to defend themselves to be found not guilty at jury trial. As part of any affirmative defense, the issue is not whether the defendant did what the government says they did, but whether there was justification. For instance, self-defense is another example of an affirmative defense. The issue in a self-defense case may not be whether or not the defendant shot an attacker, but whether there was justification for doing so.
You Are Only Guilty If You Are Convicted
Examples of Entrapment in Drug Investigations
In an entrapment case, the issue is not whether someone was in possession of drugs, but whether or not the government was baiting or enticing someone to commit a crime they were not otherwise going to commit. It is not simply enough that the government would provide the means, they must also provide the motivation for the person to commit the crime.
In order to raise entrapment, the right facts and the right situation need to be present. Did the government agent or confidential informant harass you into a drug crime? Did they coerce you in some way? These are just some examples of how entrapment could be raised.
In order for entrapment to be effective at trial, there must be sufficient doubt that the individual was predisposed towards committing the offense they have been charged with, and would not have if it weren't for the government involvement. This can be a very technical argument.