One of the most widely-used and most effective defenses against criminal prosecution revolves around the idea of entrapment. At its core, entrapment is any act in which a law enforcement agent tricks, coerces, or similarly encourages a person to commit a crime that he or she would most likely not have committed otherwise. This defense has evolved slowly over the years, case by case, and varies widely by state.
One common example that is a clear-cut abuse of authority in most areas involves the sale of alcohol to minors. If an underage agent working for a government enforcement organization attempts to purchase alcohol at an establishment in order to verify that laws on this point are being followed, it may be considered entrapment if the server asks him or her if he or she is over 21 and the agent responds falsely.
Objective and Subjective Entrapment
There are two basic approaches that one can take to establishing entrapment. The example above represents objective entrapment, or a case in which the government’s actions essentially lead a normally law-abiding citizen to commit a crime.
Subjective entrapment is a bit more difficult to assert. It looks at the accused person’s predisposition to commit an offense, which revolves in large part around his or her state of mind or criminal history. In any case, the prevailing idea is that the government is more or less looking to create trouble where none would typically exist.
If you or someone you love has been accused of a crime and you think a law enforcement agent’s entrapping actions were the real culprit, you will need a well-versed and professional legal team to effectively argue your stance. Contact the experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. today by calling (408) 296-4100.