When Can You Use Entrapment As A Defense
What is Entrapment in Ohio? And if you’re arrested in Columbus, Ohio, can entrapment be a complete defense to the charge?
Entrapment is a defense recognized in Ohio when the police or its informant encourages a person to commit a crime he or she would not otherwise commit. The defense of entrapment is established when the idea or plan to commit a crime originates with the police or their informant, and they implant in the mind of an innocent person the intent to commit the offense. There is no entrapment, however, when the intent to commit the crime originates with the accused, and the police or their informant merely provides an opportunity to commit it.
If, for example, you are in the business of dealing marijuana, and a police informant knocks on your door, offers to buy marijuana, and you sell it to him, you have not been entrapped. That is because the police informant merely offered you the opportunity to commit a crime you were already predisposed to commit.
On the other hand, let’s say that you sold marijuana a long time ago, but had been out of the business for years, now gainfully employed, and with no intention to ever sell drugs again. A former friend is now working as a police informant. He calls you up and asks you to sell him drugs, but you say no. The informant continues nevertheless calling you on nearly a daily basis, and even shows up at your house repeatedly asking you to sell him drugs even though you have already told him no. Let’s say that the informant knows you are having financial difficulty, and finally offers you triple the price if you will just connect him up with a sale. You finally cave in and, at a vulnerable time, make a sale. In this case, you have been illegally entrapped because the informant planted in your mind the idea to commit a crime that you were not predisposed to commit.
In Ohio, entrapment is an affirmative defense and the accused has the burden to prove it at trial by the preponderance, or greater weight, of the evidence.
Our Columbus Criminal Defense Attorneys have successfully defended cases involving the sale of marijuana and of cocaine based on the defense of entrapment. If you believe you or a loved one have been entrapped by law enforcement in Columbus or central Ohio, please call one of the criminal defense attorneys at our Columbus office at 614-547-5757 for a free initial consultation.