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Entrapment Questions

Entrapment is used as a defense when a person is charged with committing a crime that was instigated by police or other government agents that the person would normally not consider committing. Generally, entrapment charges occur during police stings that involve drugs, prostitution or gambling. Police officers have a legal right to pretend to be drug dealers or prostitutes in an attempt to catch people who intend on breaking the law. To learn more about entrapment and entrapment laws, take a look at the questions below that have been answered by Experts.

What is the penalty for entrapment?

Technically, entrapment doesn't carry a penalty. Entrapment is a defense to a criminal prosecution. Generally, a defendant will use this defense when they have been involved in a situation that was set up by police. The defendant will claim entrapment and then try to show that he/she wouldn't have been in the situation if the police hadn't instigated the event which resulted in the person committing a crime that they would normally not attempt. If the defendant is successful in proving they were entrapped by the police, the charges could be dismissed (acquitted) at trial.

I have heard that you may not entrap someone for sexual solicitation. Does an undercover agent have to identify themselves when asked? Can the police set up a web page for a female escort to encourage and entrap a person looking for a sexual liaison?

Many people are under the impression that an undercover police officer has to identify themselves if they are asked. This is not true. In order to claim that an officer entrapped you, you would have to show that the officer encouraged you to do something illegal that you otherwise wouldn't do without his/her enticement.

By setting up a web page, the police did not entrap anyone. There was no coercion that forced or enticed a person to go to the website or to act on anything that was found on the website. Also, a person can be arrested for soliciting another person for sex (prostitution). An escort service is not designed to offer sexual services. In order to be arrested, there would have to be evidence that a person had paid an escort for sexual acts. A person who seeks an escort service for a date wouldn't be at risk of arrest if they merely wanted a dinner date.

Is it legal or considered entrapment for a police officer to sit completely hidden to traffic if their vehicle if parked inconspicuously can they do this without any illumination on the vehicle?

A police officer who is hidden from view of other drivers is doing nothing unlawful. In order for entrapment to apply to a situation like this, the officer would have to do something that would force you to break a law. For example, if an officer forced you to speed or drive in a reckless manner while he/she was in an unmarked vehicle, it would be considered entrapment. This is because without the officer forcing you to speed, you probably wouldn't have done anything that would be considered illegal.

When someone feels that they are a victim of entrapment, they should ask an Expert for legal assistance. When someone commits a crime due to being pressured by police officers, entrapment is a defense for the person's actions. If you have questions or doubts about entrapment laws, you should ask an Expert who can clarify your doubts.
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