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Misconceptions Related to an Entrapment Defense

Posted by Michael G. Butash | May 04, 2020 | 0 Comments

Entrapment is when an official, oftentimes a police officer, induces an individual to commit a crime that they would not normally commit under different circumstances. Although there are many criminal shows and movies that often romanticize entrapment, Florida residents need to made clear that entrapment is a serious issue and does happen in real life. While entrapment is something that can happen to many people, these people often think that an entrapment defense is an easy way to get their criminal case dropped or thrown out of court, but this is not always the case. There are many misconceptions that people have when taking the entrapment defense in their criminal case.

Only Government Agents Can Entrap Another Person

It is not uncommon for someone to be caught in any criminal act to try to shift the blame onto someone else by claiming entrapment. Florida residents must be made aware that only government agents of local jurisdictions or federally can commit entrapment crimes. For example, if a neighbor of someone suggests to another individual that they should do a criminal act, and then that person calls the police on them, this is not entrapment because the neighbor is not a representative of the government. An entrapment defense does not arise if private individuals convince a defendant to commit one or more crimes.

Entrapment Defenses Don't Work if Someone Would Commit a Crime Regardless

Even if a government office was to convince someone to commit a crime, and they are arrested for it, that does not imply that the action was entrapment. Florida residents need to be made aware of the fact that if a judge or jury believes that someone was already predisposed to commit the crime regardless if they were pushed by a government official, the entrapment defense will not work. This is the common scenario when someone is being charged with selling drugs or for prostitution, because most likely the defended in this case was already presumed to be dealing with these illegal actions prior to any government officials getting involved.

*Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Butash Law Group*

About the Author

Michael G. Butash

Michael G. Butash Stetson University College of Law Florida State University Former State Prosecutor Mike grew up in the Tampa Bay area and graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 1997. He was immediately hired as an Assistant State Attorney for the 6th Judicial Circuit (Pinellas/...

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