Undercover operations are common methods police use when they need to gather irrefutable evidence or want to identify suspects who may be working higher in the chain of criminal activity. Trained officers may pose as drug dealers, for example, to arrest a buyer who may have information about more powerful drug traffickers in the area.
If an undercover officer recently arrested you after you allegedly purchased drugs, you may feel betrayed, especially if the officer built a certain amount of trust before taking you into custody. In fact, you may feel as though the officer entrapped you into committing the crime. However, if you plan to use entrapment as a defense, you should obtain a good understanding of the elements involved.
How can I prove entrapment?
Entrapment is more than just providing you an opportunity to purchase drugs. You will have to prove to the court that you would not have purchased drugs unless the officer had coerced you in some way. Therefore, the entrapment defense will focus on you as well as the actions of the police officer who made the arrest. It is not easy to build a successful case for entrapment, so you should have a legal professional on your side to prove the following in court:
- You have no previous arrests for drug-related crimes.
- You do not have a substance abuse problem.
- It is not likely you would have purchased the drugs without the strong-handed inducement of the undercover officer.
The court will weigh these factors next to the actions and reactions of a reasonable person. For example, the court will consider whether an average, law-abiding Arkansas citizen would have been unable to resist the pressure of the undercover officer. If the undercover officer used tactics that induced you into purchasing the drugs, such as making tempting promises or threatening you with harm, the court may agree that you are the victim of entrapment.
What are the results of entrapment?
Typically, you must prove either inducement or a lack of predisposition for a successful entrapment defense. However, even if you present a believable argument that the officer used pressure to convince you to purchase drugs, the court may find it difficult to conclude such action was entrapment if you have previous arrests for drug possession.
If you believe police entrapped you into committing a crime, you may benefit from the counsel of an attorney. Proving entrapment may result in a more positive outcome for your case, but a strong defense strategy is critical to meeting your goals.