Police officers often use “sting” operations to make arrests. These operations typically consist of undercover officers who “set up” people by providing them with an opportunity to commit a criminal offense.
So when law enforcement officials use a sting operation or a confidential informant, the evidence that the crime was committed may be overwhelming. In those cases, entrapment is considered the only defense.
Definition of Entrapment
Entrapment is specifically identified as a defense in the Texas Penal Code. It is a defense to prosecution in which an individual engaged in the conduct charged because he or she was induced to do so by a law enforcement agent using persuasion or other means likely to cause a person to commit a crime. Keep in mind, conduct merely affording an individual an opportunity to commit the offense does not constitute as entrapment.
The defense has the burden of producing evidence to establish the following elements for an entrapment argument:
- The defendant engaged in the conduct charged
- Since the defendant was induced to do so by a police officer
- The police officer used persuasion or other means
- Those means were likely to cause the defendant to commit the crime
Texas courts use what is known as an “objective test” to determine whether or not entrapment occurred. The objective standard requires the defendant to prove that the police officers acted in such a manner that any law-abiding citizen would have reacted in the same way.
Some examples of police conduct that could result in a positive score in the objective test include:
- Offering large sums of money in exchange for committing the crime
- Guaranteeing that the conduct is not considered illegal
- Promising the crime will go undetected
- Appealing to sympathy
- Making threats of violence against a person or his or her family members
Let Our El Paso Criminal Defense Attorney Protect Your Rights & Future
If you have been arrested for a crime that might involve the entrapment defense, the Law Offices of Ruben Ortiz can offer experienced and knowledgeable legal representation. Our founding attorney understands how alleged offenders can successfully argue this type of defense.
Contact us and request a free consultation today.