Las Vegas Criminal Law Blog

What Is Considered Entrapment?

As experienced DUI lawyers near Las Vegas, The Law Offices of Benjamin Nadig understands the importance of being familiar with your legal rights when it comes to arrests. One particular concept that can be a bit mystifying is that of entrapment.

In efforts to catch individuals engaging in criminal activity, Nevada law enforcement officials could set up a sting operation (a police officer goes undercover as a buyer, seller, or victim). Take this scenario — an undercover officer tips a gang off about an unsupervised warehouse full of inventory down the block, and they proceed to commit theft. Generally, this type of police activity is permissible, as allowing the opportunity for an individual to commit a crime is not considered unlawful. The law’s rationale behind this holds the belief that a reasonable person would resist a given amount of “pressure” or ordinary temptation to engage in criminal conduct.

However, entrapment can be a complicated concept to understand. Let’s take a look:

What Is Entrapment?

Entrapment happens when a law enforcement official utilizes various tactics, which could be threats, fraud, flattery, or harassment, to coerce or force someone to commit a crime that they would not have engaged in without the officer’s influence or involvement. For example, if John sells drugs to an undercover police officer, that is not entrapment. If the undercover officer shows up to John’s house day after day, unrelentingly pleading to John about how the pills are for his dying mother, and John eventually breaks down and sells to the cop to get the “buyer” out his hair or because he sympathizes — that could be considered entrapment.

Can Entrapment Be Used as a Defense?

States use either an objective or a subjective standard to determine entrapment:

Objective Standard 

When defendants offer entrapment evidence, jurors decide whether an officer’s actions would have persuaded a normally law-abiding person to engage in criminal activity.

Subjective Standard

When a defendant offers entrapment evidence, jurors determine whether their predisposition to commit the crime makes the defendant responsible for their actions — regardless of any government agent’s involvement. Overall, entrapment defenses are less likely to succeed under this standard.

The state of Nevada applies to the subjective entrapment standard when courts assess whether or not the defendant has met their burden. If the defendant presents evidence proving that they were induced, the burden then shifts to the prosecutor to show that the defendant would have committed the crime regardless of and law enforcement official’s involvement.

If you suspect law enforcement engaged in entrapment to make your arrest or require a reputable drunk driving attorney near Las Vegas, contact The Law Offices of Benjamin Nadig today!