Entrapment is an often times misunderstood legal concept; that under the right set of facts, is a defense to criminal charges. If a person can successfully argue entrapment, they will be found not guilty of the particular crime they have been charged.
The Kentucky Entrapment Statute reads:
(1) A person is not guilty of an offense arising out of proscribed conduct when:
(a) He was induced or encouraged to engage in that conduct by a public
servant or by a person acting in cooperation with a public servant seeking
to obtain evidence against him for the purpose of criminal prosecution;
(b) At the time of the inducement or encouragement, he was not otherwise
disposed to engage in such conduct.
(2) The relief afforded by subsection (1) is unavailable when:
(a) The public servant or the person acting in cooperation with a public
servant merely affords the defendant an opportunity to commit an offense;
(b) The offense charged has physical injury or the threat of physical injury as
one (1) of its elements and the prosecution is based on conduct causing
or threatening such injury to a person other than the person perpetrating
(3) The relief provided a defendant by subsection (1) is a defense.
Many people claim entrapment, but it is a very difficult defense to apply under the law. The key to a successful entrapment defense is that “there is evidence that the defendant was induced by police authorities, or someone acting in cooperation with them, to commit a criminal act which he was not otherwise disposed to commit.” Commonwealth v. Day, 983 S.W.2d 505, 1999 Ky. LEXIS 1 (Ky. 1999).
An example of a case that involved the defense of entrapment happened when a man was arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine after he was induced and encouraged by an undercover police officer to purchase cocaine and sell the cocaine back to the undercover officer. The twist to the story is that the undercover officer was a female who had been sexually involved with the defendant in the past. The defendant had never transferred drugs before; he only knew where to locate the cocaine because of his own prior usage; and he received no benefit from his participating in the transfer other than satisfying the confidential informant for whom he had “feelings”.
Basically, for entrapment to be a defense, the police officer had to devise the plan and work hard to convince the person to carry out a crime that the person would not normally do without the encouragement of the police officer. Even in cases where undercover officers offer to sell drugs or set up prostitution stings, they are usually catching people who did not need the degree of inducement and encouragement to reach the level of entrapment.
However, entrapment is a very effective defense when the right circumstances exist. It is imperative that before you are brought before the court, that you retain a criminal defense lawyer who can review your case and look for, not only the defense of entrapment, but other defenses that may help protect your rights as well. The criminal justice system is unforgiving, do not face it alone.
Remember to never make any statements to the police without your attorney present. Always be respectful, but invoke your rights to remain silent.
I am a criminal defense attorney located in Fort Thomas, Campbell County, Kentucky. I practice criminal defense law throughout northern Kentucky. I am also licensed to practice law in Florida. Nothing here is intended to create an attorney-client privilege. This is only provided as general information.