Entrapment Law & Legal Definition


In criminal law, a person is 'entrapped' when he is induced or persuaded by law enforcement officers or their agents to commit a crime that he had no previous intent to commit. A defendant who is subject to entrapment may not be convicted as a matter of public policy.

However, there is no entrapment where a person is ready and willing to break the law and the government agents merely provide what appears to be a favorable opportunity for the person to commit the crime. In order to be found to be a victim of entrapment, the entrapped person must have been willing and willing to commit the crime prior to the alleged entrapment. The mere providing of an opportunity to commit a crime is not entrapment. In order to find entrapment, there must be persuasion to commit a crime by the entrapping party.

Entrapment is an affirmative defense in which the defendant has the burden of proof. It excuses a criminal defendant from liability for crimes proved to have been induced by certain governmental persuasion or deceit. To claim inducement, a defendant must demonstrate that the government conduct created a situation in which an otherwise law-abiding citizen would commit an offense. The defendant must show that he or she was unduly persuaded, threatened, coerced, harassed or offered pleas based on sympathy or friendship by police.