The "Entrapment" Defense
June 1, 2021
Were you set up for the drug bust by a “friend” who was working with the police? If this “friend” was working as a confidential informant (“CI” for short) and used coercive tactics to get you to commit the crime, then you may have been “Entrapped”. If you were entrapped into buying or selling drugs that you were not inclined to do anyway, you can get the entire charge dismissed.
Also, some low-level drug dealers can claim entrapment and get the charges reduced if the CI coerced you into buying larger quantities of drugs than you normally would. This is called “Sentence Entrapment”.
The American Judicial System will not tolerate a prosecution where the police who are prosecuting the crime were in fact the persons who procured the crime. Therefore, a properly asserted entrapment defense keeps law enforcement in check and the judicial system pure.
But the “entrapment defense” has to be asserted early in the case or it may be lost. Developing an entrapment defense requires affidavits to be filed, public records to be requested, police radio channels to be subpoenaed, and evidentiary hearings. This will take several months. Don’t think that the judge will allow you to postpone the case on the day of jury selection if your attorney shows up and says that his client “thinks” he was entrapped.
In the past year, The Panhandle Defense attorneys have had two clients avoid 7 years of prison each by asserting the entrapment defense. No, it was not easy. The prosecution fought us each step of the way by claiming: (1) We do not have to tell you if the “friend” was a CI; (2) The “friend” does not meet the definition of a CI; (3) You can’t tell the Court what was told you by the CI because that is hearsay, and (4) “There was no entrapment because your guy would have done it anyway”. But when the Panhandle Defense attorney held the line and was willing to risk it all, the prosecution eventually relented and gave a sweetheart deal. In those cases, one client was threatened by the CI with termination from a job if he did not buy the drugs, and the other was threatened by the CI with eviction if she did not buy the drugs.