So you’re pretty sure the cops tricked you into doing or saying something incriminating, or into doing something illegal? This is a pretty complicated subject in Michigan law. It has lots of room for misunderstandings and misinterpretations. So let’s take a look at your situation, and see if you were really entrapped by a cop, or just allowed to make a bad choices where officers were ready to swoop in and arrest you. What does Michigan law say about an entrapment defense to criminal charges?
Do cops have to tell you they’re cops if you ask them directly?
No, they don’t. Cops are allowed to lie to you, despite the fact that you’re not allowed to lie to them. So the urban myth about cops being required to tell you that they’re cops if you ask them directly is a bunch of bunkum, at least here in Michigan. Not only are they allowed to deny being cops, but they can lie about all kinds of other things as well, as long as it gets them the information they need in an investigation. If you think about it for a minute, there’s no way cops could do their jobs properly if they had to be honest all the time. It just wouldn’t work. Is it fair? Maybe not. But life isn’t always fair, right?
So can cops lie to you to get you to commit crimes?
That’s a complex question and it’ll need a little explaining. Let’s examine this one so you’re not confused… Here’s the truth – a cop can lie to you, but they can’t coerce you or force you to do something illegal. So if your argument is that you did something illegal that you wouldn’t have done if you knew the other person involved was a cop, then that doesn’t fly. Why? Because if you would have broken the law anyway if the cop wasn’t there, then the cop isn’t at fault for your bad decisions.
So when does it become entrapment?
Technically, the term ‘entrapment‘ is a defense to a criminal charge. It means that if a person was coerced or tricked by police into committing a crime they wouldn’t otherwise have done, simply so that the cops can arrest someone, that would be ‘entrapment.’ However entrapment can be very hard to prove in a court of law, because your defense attorney has to prove that you wouldn’t have committed the crime if a cop hadn’t coerced or enticed you into it. As you can imagine, this involves a lot of “he said, she said”, because it’s hard to prove what someone would or wouldn’t have done in a hypothetical situation.
Entrapment isn’t always a good defense against criminal charges
Sometimes when a criminal defendant uses entrapment as a defense in court, they’re essentially saying “I wouldn’t have committed this crime, but the police convinced me do it!” The downside of this defense is that it’s a gilded invitation for the prosecution to try and prove that you would have broken the law, without any coercion from the cops. And how might they prove that? Probably by digging up any dirt on you they can find to show the court that you’ve got criminal inclinations. It might not be true, but they’re going to try and make you look bad, which can make a criminal trial in a Michigan courtroom really challenging!
Have you been tricked by the cops in Michigan?
Join us next time for the wrap up on this subject. Until then, if you or a loved one believe you’ve been coerced into committing a crime by an undercover cop, you’re 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 advice and representation during this difficult time. Call us immediately at 866 766 5245. We’re here to help you! Our phones answer 24/7 at 1 866 7NoJail. We can help you now.