Thanks to one sting operation in Chicago, there was a 46.4% reduction in the flow of new illegal firearms going toward villains.
While sting operations might be useful in some instances, they can also hurt you if you’re caught up in one. To get out, you may want to use an entrapment defense.
But what is a sting operation and entrapment defense? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.
What is a Sting Operation?
A sting operation can vary depending on what type of crime the law enforcement is trying to stop.
They may also use different techniques depending on whether it’s a short-term or long-term sting. Because of that, it makes it difficult to define exactly what it is.
However, all stings must have four basic elements. They need to present an opportunity to commit a crime. This can either be set up by the police, or the police can take advantage of an already-existing situation.
The second requirement is that they have to target a group of offenders or one offender who is likely going to commit that type of crime.
They also normally have an undercover office or some other kind of deception.
The sting ends when the officers reveal themselves to be law enforcement and then they arrest the offenders.
For example, one sting might target a politician who has been suspected of taking bribes or dealing with illegal substances. The police will set up an undercover operation to try and catch the politician in the act of taking a bribe or dealing with illegal substances.
However, it could even be as simple as the police hiding on a stretch of road where they know people speed all the time so that they can catch speeders.
They can also be used to catch white-collar offenders, thefts, internet sex offenders, solicitors, prostitutes, or drug addicts.
However, there is a legal loophole because if the sting is set up by officers, the offenders might not be fully willing to commit the crime. Because of this, officers can be accused of manipulating how willing the villains are to commit a crime.
Even though they might be controversial in a court, once a jury sees a video of a law enforcement officer catching someone in the act, they might be more likely to convict.
One of the most common stings is just ads that police will place on websites. In fact, many of them post them on Craigslist.
They might post an ad that promises a sexual encounter but won’t advertise that it would be for someone who was underage.
They can justify leaving the age off because they say that the websites shouldn’t allow for illegal activity. But they also know that most people won’t keep talking to someone online who they know is underage.
However, many people still end up falling prey to this trap because it looks like a legit offer. They may not even realize someone is underage either, and because of psychological issues, it might be difficult to break a conversation off with them.
Because of this, some people argue that stings like this are unfair and trap innocent people, rather than guilty ones.
What is Entrapment?
Entrapment involves having government agents entrap someone in a crime by giving them an opportunity to commit the crime.
However, judges still expect people to resist the temptation and decide not to commit the crime, regardless of how easy it’s made.
Many people will use an entrapment defense when a government agent has been showing bad behavior and harassing, threatening, or even flattering the defendants to try and get them to commit a crime in a sting.
Some states even have certain laws regarding entrapment. For example, in California, it says that you could only use entrapment as a defense if the law enforcement agents induced someone to commit a crime.
Even then, the defendant has to prove that they were entrapped and show a lot of evidence to convince the judge. If they can prove to the judge and jury that they were being coaxed or badgered into committing a crime, they may be able to walk away free.
On the other hand, in Florida, defendants have to also prove with a lot of evidence that they were coaxed into committing the crime. On top of that, they also have to provide evidence to show that they weren’t predisposed to committing that type of crime.
If they don’t have enough evidence, then that burden will go onto the prosecution to prove that the defendant was predisposed.
How to Use Entrapment Defense
If you want to use an entrapment defense, you’ll need to understand that it’s an affirmative defense.
That means that your lawyer, like the one at brianzeiger.com, will have to come up with a “preponderance of the evidence” that you were coaxed into committing the crime.
After you present your evidence, it will depend on what type of state your case is in. For example, you could have to do a subjective or objective test of entrapment to hold up your defense.
Learn More About a Sting Operation and Entrapment Defense
These are only a few things to know about a sting operation and the entrapment defense, but there are many more things to keep in mind.
We know that dealing with law enforcement and legal issues can be stressful and overwhelming, but we’re here to help you out.
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