HOW CAN THE ENTRAPMENT DEFENSE BE USED IN A CRIMINAL CASE IN LOS ANGELES?
The concept of entrapment is brought up all the time in criminal cases by people who really do not understand what it means. In my opinion, there are only certain limited circumstances where it is really relevant to a case. What it boils down to, in my experience, is whether a person is predisposed to committing a crime or whether the police are creating a crime where one would normally not exist. If the police are causing people to commit crimes where they would normally not be involved in such behavior, then the entrapment defense can be used to dismiss the case. If, on the other hand, an individual is looking to commit a crime and the police help facilitate the person into committing the crime, then the entrapment defense will be much harder to use.
Some examples that I have seen in Los Angeles courts over the years of good arguments for the entrapment defense relate to law enforcement putting ads on Craig’s List in order to lure individuals into committing crimes. I have seen ads by women offering to party with someone if they provide drugs. And, then when the man contacts the person they are asked to bring a certain drug to meet with the woman and the police are waiting to arrest them. This is a case where the entrapment defense applies and depending on the circumstances can be used to win a criminal case. However, I have also seen prostitution cases where a person goes to Sepulveda Boulevand with the specific intent to find a prostitute and ends up soliciting an undercover female officer for a sex act. If the person has cash in their pocket, a condom, and is in a known prostitution location, then the prosecutors will argue that they are predisposed to commit the crime and the entrapment defense will likely fail.
As with anything, there are always nuances to a situation that a seasoned savvy criminal defense attorney must weigh with their experience to help the client decide what their best course of action is under the particular facts of their case.
KEY LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE ENTRAPMENT DEFENSE
Entrapment occurs when a law enforcement officer (or their representatives) engages in conduct that would cause a normally law-abiding person to commit the crime. An example of entrapment would be an officer who repeatedly pleads, flatters, coaxes, a defendant, making a crime unusually attractive to a normally law abiding person. Ruses, stings and other “decoys” do not constitute entrapment unless no overbearing pressure or conduct is employed by the “decoy”.