When it comes to drug crimes and other felonies, many officers work close to where they believe a crime occurs. If you find yourself a victim of an officer who pushed you to commit a crime, such as selling or purchasing illicit substances, you may have a claim against the officer.
According to the Department of Justice, if an officer engages in entrapment, you may have cause for a mistrial or dropped charges.
Can an officer lie to you?
Some people may mistake lying for entrapment. Under the law, an officer can lie to you about his or her identity and intentions. For example, if an officer approaches a person to find out if the individual sells illicit substances, the officer does not have to identify him or herself. Undercover officers can work under the guise of another person. They can also lie about whether they plan to charge someone or the information they know.
How does entrapment take place?
Entrapment takes place when the officer induces the crime. The officer cannot push you to do so if you have no disposition to commit a crime or engage in criminal conduct. The officer may use various tactics to make someone into committing a crime. For example, he or she may plea to you to gain sympathy for extraordinary circumstances. For instance, an officer may claim that a family member requires medication but cannot afford it and push another person to sell it. In this case, most reasonable people may look past the law to help someone.
When it comes to entrapment, the person cannot want to engage in criminal conduct. For instance, it cannot be an opening to commit a crime but instead coerced by the officer.