Many people have heard of police entrapment and the entrapment defense, but there tends to be some confusion about what truly constitutes entrapment. Our drug crimes defense attorney at Law Office of Jeff Manciagli explains what entrapment is, when it most frequently occurs, and what to do if you believe you were the victim of entrapment but are now facing criminal charges.
What is Police Entrapment?
The police must always follow proper protocols when investigating drug activity. Entrapment is not a valid way to obtain probable cause for arrest.
Police entrapment occurs when a police officer encourages or manipulates an individual to commit a crime. This may be through harassment or threats. Then, when the individual gives in and commits the crime, the officer turns around and arrests them. This is an unlawful situation, as the individual would not have committed the crime without the influence of the law enforcement officer.
Entrapment may occur when the officer is identifiable as a police officer or when they are undercover. If the police officer puts undue pressure on the defendant to commit a crime, then it could constitute entrapment.
When Does Entrapment Occur?
Entrapment is a common occurrence related to drug offenses. Examples may be if a police officer pushes an individual to transport drugs on their behalf, thus leading to trafficking charges. Or perhaps, the police officer demanded that the individual sell a controlled substance, only to later arrest them for drug distribution.
Entrapment is common in drug cases, but is also frequently used as a method to make prostitution and theft arrests.
Are Sting Operations Entrapment Setups?
No, sting operations are not examples of police entrapment. Sting operations are legal. The key difference between sting operations and entrapment is the component of manipulation versus opportunity.
During a sting operation, law enforcement presents opportunities for individuals to commit criminal activity. If the individual chooses to commit the offense on their own freewill, then they can be arrested. This is not entrapment.
For police interference to be entrapment, the police officer must manipulate the individual in some way that directly leads them to commit a crime. The best standard for determining whether or not something was entrapment is to ask: Would the crime have been committed without the influence of the police officer?
What To Do If You Believe You Were The Victim of Entrapment
After reading the above information, do you believe that you were the victim of entrapment in relation to a drug crime? If so, you have rights. Here are some of the first steps to take after your arrest.
First, contact a defense attorney. The legal principles surrounding entrapment are complex, and it is not always easy to prove that you were a victim. A defense attorney has valuable knowledge in this area of law–specifically defense attorneys that focus much of their practice on drug crimes defense. A knowledgeable attorney can help you determine whether or not you were entrapped by the police and how you can prove it in court.
Second, do not talk to the police or make any statements. Never admit to wrongdoing and do not say anything without speaking to your attorney first. Instead, always rely on your right to remain silent.
Next, as soon as you are able to, write down the details of your arrest. Write down everything the officer said to you and encouraged you to do. This will keep the memories fresh in your mind and can serve as evidence that you were the victim of entrapment.
Drug Crimes Defense in Metro Atlanta
Georgia continues to harshly punish those found guilty of drug offenses. Police are eager to make drug arrests, leading some to commit entrapment. You should not suffer the consequences after acting based on police coercion. If you believe you were entrapped, or are facing drug charges under any circumstances, contact Law Office of Jeff Manciagli today for the legal guidance and advocacy you need.