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Entrapment: When the Law Encourages a Crime


If you were induced or incited by law enforcement into committing a criminal offense for the purposes of obtaining evidence against you, this is known as entrapment. However, there is a distinction between an officer instigating the commission of a crime and an officer creating an environment that would ultimately lead you to commit a crime. If you were predisposed to engage in that behavior and law enforcement merely facilitated an opportunity for you to commit a criminal act, this would not rise to the level of entrapment.

Defining Entrapment

What constitutes entrapment? If a police officer disguised as a drug dealer stands on a corner and offers drugs to a passer-by who had no intention of scoring, but decides to buy some anyway after being offered, this could be entrapment. The passer-by was not looking to buy drugs, but the disguised officer encouraged criminal behavior by offering them to the individual.

If the same police officer was disguised as a drug dealer and standing on a corner where people commonly score drugs and a passer-by approaches the officer asking for drugs, this would not be entrapment. Yes, the officer was disguised, but the passer-by was already looking to purchase drugs and just happened to encounter the wrong dealer.

Putting the Entrapment Defense Into Practice

Other common situations in which individuals can often allege entrapment by a police officer is in cases involving stolen property or prostitution. However, it is only applicable if a law enforcement officer or a person working for an officer encouraged the crime to be committed. If a private individual encouraged another to commit a crime, the entrapment defense cannot be applied.

During trial, an Illinois criminal law judge will examine your defense by scrutinizing the facts of your case. For example, if you were caught purchasing drugs, and had a drug scale, small bags to pack drugs, or other memorabilia in your possession, alleging entrapment will be rather difficult since these items suggest that you had an intent to commit the charged crime.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Chicago

If you were arrested for a crime, one of your first priorities should be to obtain the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney to ensure the best outcome for your case. At the Law Office of Steven H. Fine, we provide aggressive legal representation that is backed by over 20 years of experience and proven results. Too much is at stake, so do not hesitate to reach out to us!

No matter how simple or complicated your case might be, our Chicago criminal defense attorney will fight to defend your rights.

Contact our office today at (312) 436-0638 for the help you need. We provide free case evaluations!