Entrapment is one of those things people hear a lot about on TV but maybe don’t thoroughly understand. If you were framed for a crime, you can’t be found guilty, right? Actually, it’s not that simple.
In Indiana, entrapment is an affirmative defense, which means a criminal defendant must notify the prosecutor he or she intends to use it before the trial starts. A defendant is acquitted – case dismissed – if he successfully argues he was lured by police into committing a crime. Because entrapment can be difficult to prove, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away if you believe you were coerced into a crime you would not have otherwise committed.
Entrapment in Indiana
Although entrapment sounds fairly self-explanatory on the surface, it takes a little digging to fully grasp what it is – and what it isn’t. Many people assume that the police frame a person when they go undercover or infiltrate a criminal operation.
On the contrary, it is not enough for police or other law enforcement officials to simply give a person an opportunity to engage in criminal behavior. To qualify as entrapment, police conduct must rise to the level of harassment, threats, or fraud. Furthermore, the person alleging entrapment must show that he would not have committed the crime if law enforcement officials had not pressured, pushed, or threatened him.
Famous Case Example: John DeLorean
Entrapment is perhaps best explained by using real-life examples. Back to the Future fans will undoubtedly remember automaker John DeLorean, who created the eponymous stainless steel car featured in the film series.
After just one year in business, his company began to experience serious financial distress. In 1982, DeLorean was charged with drug trafficking after federal law enforcement officers claimed he tried to sell 55 pounds of cocaine worth $24 million.
DeLorean was acquitted in 1984 after successfully arguing that the federal agents had entrapped him. He had no history of drug use or illegal activity, and his attorney argued that he would have never sold drugs if he hadn’t been approached by the federal agents, who pressured him to sell the cocaine. With his certain financial ruin foremost in his mind, the defense argued that he was unduly pressured to sell the drugs in an effort to possibly save his company.
Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing criminal charges and you believe you were coerced by law enforcement into committing a crime, don’t wait to speak to an attorney. Call Razumich Law, P.C. today at 317-989-1129 for a free consultation.