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Have I Been The Victim Of Entrapment?
If you have been charged with a drug offense in Florida, you may feel intimidated or even powerless, particularly if you were caught ‘red-handed.’ That said, you always have the right to defend against such charges, and even if you have been stopped with illegal drugs, there may have been extenuating circumstances as to why. One of the defenses that one can use in this situation is the defense of entrapment, and while it is not always applicable, sometimes you may find you were entrapped by law enforcement without being aware of it.
Two Different Types
Under Florida law, a law enforcement officer (LEO) or a person working with an LEO is guilty of entrapment if they cause a person to commit a crime via “induce[ment] or encourage[ment]” when they were not otherwise ready to commit it. “Inducement or encouragement” may vary from case to case, but essentially, entrapment is when a law enforcement professional exerts enough pressure where a person feels pushed into committing a crime.
There are two different types of entrapment – subjective and objective. Subjective entrapment deals more with a defendant’s inherent disposition to commit the crime in question, while objective entrapment is more a question of whether the actions of law enforcement were directly intended to strong-arm the defendant into committing the crime. It can be more difficult to establish that subjective entrapment has occurred, given that objective entrapment simply involves holding law enforcement actions up to the mirror of common standards.
Hard To Establish A Lack Of Intent
If you believe that you have been the victim of entrapment set up by LEOs, it can sometimes be difficult to establish that this has been the case – proving a negative (your lack of intent) is not the same as proving that intent existed. This is particularly compounded by the fact that if a defendant introduces potential evidence of entrapment, the prosecution can introduce character evidence as proof of the defendant’s ‘predisposition’ to commit the crime (though it may be nothing of the sort!).
That said, it is important to remember that neither subjective nor objective entrapment is the same as mere opportunity – for example, if law enforcement arrests a defendant during a sting operation, that defendant cannot claim entrapment because they were already in the midst of committing a crime. Entrapment is a defense that relies on facts, while the opposing side may try to destroy it with implication.
Contact A West Palm Beach Drug Offenses Attorney
Entrapment by law enforcement happens much more frequently than the average person knows – but if it happens to you, it can seem impossible until it is too late. A West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney from the firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help ensure your rights are protected during the legal process. Call our office today at 561-721-0552 to speak to an attorney.