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When does police solicitation go too far?

If you face criminal charges after an officer solicits you to commit a crime, you may wonder whether the court can count the charges as fair. Did the officer commit a crime him or herself? According to the United States Department of Justice, a crime’s inducement could be entrapment.

If you think you are the victim of entrapment, there are a couple of elements to keep in mind.

Inducement of a crime

Inducement requires the officer to coerce you into committing a crime. There is a significant difference between inducement and solicitation. For example, if an officer solicits a crime, he or she may approach someone to purchase drugs. The person willingly sells the drugs and then the officer arrests him or her. This is entirely legal for an officer to do. He or she can use deceit but cannot convince you to commit a crime.

Inducement may include using a person’s sympathy against them to commit a crime. For example, an officer makes his or her need for drugs or money seem dire and you react as any reasonable person may. You go against your better judgment and steal or sell him or her medication.

Predisposition to a crime

Predisposition is one of the essential elements. If you are an unwary innocent, you have no inclination to commit a crime. If the court deems that you were looking for an opportunity to commit a crime, an entrapment defense falls apart.

If you generally obey the law and would never have come up with the idea to commit a crime on your own, the officer involved may be guilty of entrapment. You may have a solid criminal defense against the charges in this case.