Is Entrapment a Good Defense Strategy for My Case?

January 5th, 2022 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

If you arefacing criminal charges in Texas, you should be working with a Texas criminal defense attorney who can help you to develop a strong defense that is tailored to the specific facts of your arrest and the elements of the crime for which you are facing charges. In some cases, entrapment can be a powerful defense strategy, but it is not applicable to all cases in which a person is facing criminal charges. How can you know if entrapment is a good defense strategy for your case? You should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney in Texas who can provide you with more information after assessing your circumstances. In the meantime, the following information can help you to learn more about entrapment and whether it may be a defense that is applicable to your case.

Entrapment Involves Inducement By a Law Enforcement Agent

Under theTexas Penal Code, entrapment is a defense that is based on inducement by a law enforcement official. The statute expressly states that “it is a defense to prosecution that the actor engaged in the conduct charged because he was induced to do so by a law enforcement agent using persuasion or other means likely to cause the person to commit the offense.” In other words, by raising the defense of entrapment, you will be arguing that a law enforcement official persuaded or otherwise induced you to commit the criminal offense for which you are facing charges.

Accordingly, the two elements of a successful entrapment defense will include the following:

  • Law enforcement agent engaged in conduct that was likely to induce or persuade a person to commit a criminal offense; and
  • Law enforcement agent’s conduct actually induced or persuaded you to commit the criminal offense.

Law Enforcement Agent Must Have Done More Than Give You an Opportunity to Commit an Offense

It is critical to understand that an entrapment defense will only be successful if the law enforcement agent or official actually took steps to persuade you or induce you to commit the offense. Indeed, according to the Texas Penal Code, “conduct merely affording a person an opportunity to commit an offense does not constitute entrapment.”

For example, an entrapment defense would not work if you were facing charges for theft of a motor vehicle if an undercover police officer handed you keys to a vehicle and suggested you could steal it. This scenario would involve the law enforcement agent affording you an opportunity to commit a criminal offense but would not include the requisite persuasion or inducement.

You Will Need to Be Prepared for an Affirmative Defense

Entrapment is a type of affirmative defense, which means that you will not be raising this defense to argue that you did not commit the offense. Rather, as the Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII) explains, entrapment “is a defense in which the defendant introduces evidence, which, if found to be credible, will negate criminal liability or civil liability, even if it is proven that the defendant committed the alleged acts.”

Contact an Experienced Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have questions about entrapment or other defense strategies, one of our Texas criminal defense attorneys can help.Contact The Law Offices of Tan Nelson & Associates today.

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