One of the most common defenses in California crimes is entrapment. It
is a defense that is based on interaction between law enforcement officers
and the defendant prior to (or during) the alleged crime. If you are able
to successfully establish that you were entrapped, the criminal charges
against you will be dismissed.
What is Entrapment?
According to California law, entrapment refers to a scenario where a “normally
law abiding citizen” is coaxed to commit a criminal offense that
he or she otherwise would not have committed. Entrapment only applies
to intimidating conduct, such as harassment, threats, fraud, and pressure.
Keep in mind, police officers do not entrap people simply by offering them
an “opportunity” to commit a crime. The courts believe that
reasonable people presented with a simple opportunity to commit a crime
resist any temptation to do so.
Proving the Police are Guilty of Entrapment
In order to be convicted of a crime, the prosecutor needs to prove that
you are guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt,” meaning that the
evidence against you is strong enough that there is no logical explanation
other than the fact that you committed the alleged crime. If you use entrapment
as your defense, you are responsible for bearing the burden of proving
that the officer is guilty by “preponderance of the evidence,”
meaning that the officer “more likely than not” induced you
to commit the charged offense.
Remember, California entrapment law does not protect you if the only “inducement”
you can prove is that you received assurance that you were not being “set
up.” Officers are allowed to use reasonable tactics to gain your
trust; however, they cannot make false promises that the proposed conduct
Common types of conduct that might persuade a normally law abiding citizen
to succumb to committing a crime:
- The police officer guaranteeing that the conduct is not illegal.
- The police officer promising that the crime will go undetected.
- The police officer offers extraordinary rewards.
- The police officer appeals to sympathy.
To properly prove entrapment, it is up to your
criminal defense attorney to show the jury the criminal act would not have been your initial
choice and you would not have committed the crime if it had not been induced
by an officer.
To learn more information,
contact our Bakersfield criminal defense attorney at
Campbell Whitten today.