Thank you for joining The Kronzek Firm again to wrap up this two part series on entrapment in Michigan. In the previous article we talked about what entrapment is, how the state and federal courts go about deciding if this defense applies to a case, and what that means for a defendant. In this segment we are going to look at examples of entrapment and what the downsides are of this argument.
What are examples of entrapment?
Entrapment, by its very nature, refers to criminal activity that the defendant says they were forced, induced, or coerced into by law enforcement. Although this can refer to any crime, it typically happens when the criminal activity in question has to do with drugs or sex crimes.
Example One: Lynn Franks sells marijuana to an undercover police officer at a party. She is arrested and charged with Possession and Sale of Marijuana, however she argues that she was entrapped by the officer. Franks says that she had no intention to sell the marijuana because it was purely for her personal use. However, Franks says that the officer insisted, claiming that her mother was in chronic pain and needed the marijuana for pain management. Franks also claims that the officer repeatedly denied being a police officer.
This is not a case of entrapment. Although Franks might feel that the officer begged her for the drugs, she was always able to say no and chose not to. Also, the officer’s behavior was never overbearing. It is important to know that just because someone denies being a police officer, doesn’t mean that they are telling the truth. Police in Michigan are allowed to lie in order to catch suspects engaged in criminal activity.
Example Two: Lynn Franks sells marijuana to an undercover police officer at a party. She is arrested and charged with Possession and Sale of Marijuana. However, during her testimony she shares with the court the fact that the undercover officer who bought the drugs showed up at her house on a regular basis in the weeks before the party, asking to buy drugs for her dying mother. She also testifies that she repeatedly said no, she didnt want to sell the drugs, but the officer insisted, asking again and again over several weeks until Franks was worn down and gave in, partly .
This is much more likely to be viewed as a case of entrapment by the court. The officer’s behavior was persistent and overbearing, and the defendant tried repeatedly not to comply with the officer’s wishes. However, the officer’s repeated badgering and dishonesty resulted in the defendant agreeing to commit a crime, which could result in an entrapment defense.
Is entrapment always a good choice for the defense?
When a defendant uses the entrapment defense in court, they are essentially saying “I wouldn’t have committed this crime, but the police made me do it!” The downside of this defense is that it is a gilded invitation for the prosecution to prove that you would have done the crime, without any prompting from law enforcement? How do they try to prove this? Possibly by digging up your past and trying to prove that you are predisposed to criminal activity.
If the court decides that this evidence is relevant, a prosecutor could be given permission to share with the jury the defendant’s propensity for criminal activity. This could include testimony from friends and associates about other criminal activities. In a nutshell, they work very hard to make you look very bad in front of the jury. This can sometimes backfire, as juries are sometimes more inclined to agree with the prosecutor’s version of events.
Have you been entrapped by the police in Michigan?
If you or a loved one have been coerced into committing a crime by an undercover law enforcement officer, you are going to need expert legal advice! The skilled criminal defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience dealing with questionable police practices. We understand what’s involved in an entrapment defense, and can provide you with experienced representation during this difficult time. Call us immediately at 866 766 5245. We are here to help you!