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Entrapment

Entrapment

WHAT IS ENTRAPMENT

In Florida the defendant shall not be found guilty of a crime if he can show he was entrapped. Entrapment occurs when law enforcement convinces someone to commit a crime that they otherwise would not commit. This usually requires that the person who committed the crime was not already predisposed to committing that crime.

ENTRAPMENT – FLORIDA STATUTE 777.201

(1) A law enforcement officer, a person engaged in cooperation with a law enforcement officer, or a person acting as an agent of a law enforcement officer perpetrates an entrapment if, for the purpose of obtaining evidence of the commission of a crime, he or she induces or encourages and, as a direct result, causes another person to engage in conduct constituting such crime by employing methods of persuasion or inducement which create a substantial risk that such crime will be committed by a person other than one who is ready to commit it.

(2) A person prosecuted for a crime shall be acquitted if the person proves by a preponderance of the evidence that his or her criminal conduct occurred as a result of an entrapment. The issue of entrapment shall be tried by the trier of fact.

WHAT IS PREDISPOSITION

Predisposition means that the person was not predisposed to committing the crime that law enforcement was trying to get them to commit. Predisposition can be shown by the defendant ready and willingness to commit the crime.

For example law enforcement routinely buys drugs from people believed to be drug dealers. If the person is readily willing to buy drugs from the law enforcement officer, that will be considered evidence as that the person was predisposed to committing the crime. However if the person refuses to sell drugs to law enforcement, and after a lot of convincing law enforcement finally convinces them to sell them drugs, the person may be able to argue entrapment claiming he was not predisposed to committing the crime. Therefore but for the officer convincing the person to commit the crime, the person would not have committed the crime. Some courts have said that entrapment may requires some kind of arm twisting from law enforcement.