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Entrapment as a defense against a crime


Entrapment exists where an otherwise law-abiding citizen is induced through police involvement to commit the charged crime. Entrapment is defined by statute as:

(a) It is a defense that:
    (1) the prohibited conduct of the person was the product of a law enforcement officer, or his agent, using persuasion or other means likely to cause the person to engage in the conduct; and
    (2) the person was not predisposed to commit the offense.
(b) Conduct merely affording a person an opportunity to commit the offense does not constitute entrapment.

If a defendant asserts the defense of entrapment and establishes police inducement, then the burden of proof shifts to the State. The State must either disprove police inducement by demonstrating beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant's prohibited conduct was not the product of the police efforts or establish the defendant's predisposition to commit the crime.

An example of a successful entrapment defense occurred in the case of Albaugh v. State. On a snowy night, Albaugh's truck broke down a quarter mile from his house. He and his girlfriend left the truck, walked home, and began drinking whiskey. A few hours later, two deputies pounded on their door and said the truck needed to be moved out of the road before it became a hazard. Although Albaugh said he would do so in the morning, the deputy insisted, “you've got to move it and you've got to move it now.” Shortly after Albaugh started his truck, the deputies arrested him, and he was convicted of driving while intoxicated. The Indiana Supreme Court found the State failed to establish Albaugh's criminal conduct was not the product of the deputy's explicit demand to move the car, so Albaugh was entrapped.

If you find yourself having been arrested, you should immediately hire experienced criminal defense lawyers such as Vonderheide & Knecht to help you fight the State.

Filed to Ask a Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Marijuana & Other Drugs, Operating While Intoxicated

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