The word ‘entrapment’ gets a good deal of press in cop shows and legal thriller movies. But in real life, it’s a term that doesn’t seem to get nearly as much air time. In addition, people often misunderstand what it really means. For that reason, we have put together this article about entrapment law in Michigan, and how it might affect you.
What does ‘entrapment’ mean?
Technically, ‘entrapment‘ is a defense to a crime. This means that if a person has been coerced by law enforcement into committing a crime they would otherwise not have committed, simply to garner an arrest, this could be described as ‘entrapment.’ However, entrapment can be very hard to prove in a court of law, as the defense has to prove that the defendant wouldn’t have committed the crime if law enforcement hadn’t cornered them into it.
Are federal and state entrapment laws different?
Under Michigan law, entrapment is determined by the court using what is called an “objective test” which is different from the system used by the federal government. In order to determine whether or not an entrapment defense applies, the federal court uses a “subjective test.”
The difference between the objective test and the subjective test is whether or not the accused was predisposed to commit the crime. This means the federal court will inquire into a particular defendant’s predisposition to commit the crime in question. In the objective approach, the accused’s state of mind is a factor to be considered, but it is not given the same weight as with the subjective approach.
What is the “objective” test?
In the objective test, which is what Michigan courts use, the court asks whether the police conduct that enticed the defendant to commit a crime would have induced any reasonable law-abiding person to commit that crime. In essence, would the police conduct that induced this criminal act have caused any reasonable person in the same circumstances to commit the crime, regardless of the specific mental state of the defendant.
What is the “subjective” test?
In the “subjective” test, which is what the federal government uses, the court examines both the nature of the enticement and this specific defendant’s state of mind at the time that the crime was committed. When asserting this defense, defendants must show that they were induced to commit the crime by law enforcement, and may have to weather the prosecutor’s attempts to show that they were predisposed to commit the crime.
Have you been entrapped by the police in Michigan?
Join us next time, as we continue to unpack the subject of entrapment in Michigan. Until then, 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 immediately! The skilled criminal defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience handling the fallout from questionable police activities all over the state of Michigan. We understand what is involved in choosing this 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!