California Laws on “Entrapment” Defense in Criminal Cases
Entrapment is a legal defense used in criminal cases where the defendant argues that they were induced by law enforcement to commit a crime that they otherwise would not have committed. In California, entrapment is defined as conduct by a law enforcement officer that would cause a normally law-abiding person to commit a crime.
Entrapment can occur in a variety of ways, but the most common forms are through persuasion or harassment. Persuasion is when a government agent uses persuasion or inducement to convince a person to commit a crime. For example, if an undercover police officer offers a large sum of money to a person to sell drugs, and the person agrees to do so, this could be considered entrapment.
Harassment is when a government agent uses coercion or threats to force a person to commit a crime. For example, if an undercover police officer threatens to harm a person or their family if they don’t agree to sell drugs, this could be considered entrapment.
To prove entrapment in California, the defendant must show that the government agent induced them to commit the crime and that they were not predisposed to committing the crime. Predisposition is the measure of a person’s willingness to commit a crime prior to being approached by a government agent. If a person has a history of committing similar crimes, or if they readily agreed to commit the crime without much persuasion, it is less likely that entrapment can be proven.
The defense of entrapment is not available in all cases. For example, if a person is caught in the act of committing a crime, they cannot claim entrapment. Additionally, if a person is caught with illegal drugs in their possession, they cannot claim entrapment on the grounds that they were induced to buy the drugs.
Courts have held that the entrapment defense can be raised by the accused if the evidence shows that the criminal design originated in the mind of law enforcement officials and was then implanted in the mind of the accused.
However, in order to successfully use the entrapment defense, the defendant must prove that the officer engaged in conduct that would cause a normally law-abiding person to commit a crime. This can be difficult to prove, as the government agent’s conduct must be more than just providing an opportunity for the crime to be committed.
If the defense of entrapment is successful, the charges against the defendant will be acquitted at jury trial. However, if the defense is not successful, the defendant will be held liable for the crime committed.
It is important to note that entrapment is a defense that can only be raised at trial. This means that if a person confesses to a crime, they cannot later claim that they were entrapped.
In conclusion, entrapment is a legal defense that can be used in criminal cases. It is a defense against charges of a crime that has been induced by the officer. The defense can be successful if the defendant can prove that the officer engaged in conduct that would cause a normally law-abiding person to commit a crime and the defendant was not predisposed to committing the crime. However, it is a difficult defense to prove and can only be raised at trial. It is important for individuals facing criminal charges to understand the laws surrounding entrapment and to consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney if they believe that they may have been entrapped.