Entrapment is either an illegal or a legal procedure that can lead to mistrials, overturning of verdicts,and so forth. Officers are notorious for setting up traps to lure alleged criminals into confessing ormaking mistakes that lead to their arrest.
For example, in a small town, a drug task force is setup where undercover officers frequent bars tomonitor the crowd while acting like a customer in the establishment. What the officers are reallydoing is gathering information, witnesses, and other evidence that will lead to the arrest of a localdrug dealer. Officers also use entrapment procedures to lure in pedophiles over the Internet.
When does entrapment become illegal? This is one of the main questions asked pertaining toentrapment–and the answer is surprisingly simple. If an officer lures an ordinary citizen intocommitting a crime that this person would not have otherwise committed, then this is a legal act ofentrapment, which transfers the blame to the officer, who has committed the act of “manufacturing acrime where none would otherwise exist.”
Then what is legal entrapment? Legal entrapment must include that the perpetrator has prior recordof committing the same or similar crimes that will lead the officer to believe that the suspect hasshown probable cause of the crime in action. The perpetrator must have a history of committingsimilar⁄same or else relevant crimes of nature. Thus, the suspect must show probable cause thathe⁄she is mentally capable of committing and is probably contemplating or acting out the crime inquestion.
As you can see, entrapment is a tricky legal situation, which is why it is important to know whatyour rights are if you have been tricked into committing a crime that you normally would not havenormally be involved in.