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The Entrapment Defense

Under Ohio Revised Code § 2109.05(C)(2), entrapment is a defense that can be used in a criminal case. This type of defense gives the alleged offender a justification for the offending conduct.

Entrapment occurs when police officers and/or confidential informants give the alleged offender an opportunity to commit criminal conduct. The key to the entrapment defense is that the alleged offender would not have been predisposed to commit the crime without outside influence, incentive and/or inducement initiated by law enforcement.

According to the Ohio Supreme Court, entrapment occurs “where the criminal design originates with [government official(s) who] implant in the mind of an innocent person the [pre]disposition to commit the alleged offense and induce its commission in order to prosecute.” State v. Doran, 5 Ohio St.3d 187.

Columbus Entrapment Attorney

The Joslyn Law Firm can help you avoid the most severe penalties and punishments for your criminal charges in Columbus, Ohio. Brian Joslyn will make every effort to find possible defenses or mitigating factors in your situation. Call the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a free consultation today.

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When the Entrapment Defense May Apply

If you have been coerced, induced or compelled to commit a crime you would not otherwise have committed without motivation by government officials, you may be entitled to use the entrapment defense.

The core of the entrapment defense is the absence of intent. Generally, intent is defined as “knowing” and “purposeful” conduct by the accused in furtherance of the crime. In using the entrapment defense, your criminal defense attorney will have the burden of showing you were not predisposed to commit the offense at issue.

A jury may consider the following factors in determining the alleged offender’s predisposition to commit an offense:

  • Prior involvement in the same criminal activity the accused is currently being charged;
  • The readiness and ease the accused complied with the government official’s inducement;
  • The alleged offender’s knowledge of the criminal activity in the area;
  • The alleged offender’s access to contraband (illegally imported or exported goods);
  • The alleged offender’s willingness to get involved with the criminal activity.

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The Prosecution’s Burden of Proof

In a criminal case, the prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant committed the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that after viewing all of the evidence, any rational juror could find every essential element of the crime has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. However, if any juror has a doubt, it is a reasonable doubt.

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Opportunity vs. Entrapment in Ohio

It is important to distinguish between the opportunity to commit a crime and the entrapment defense. An alleged offender is not entrapped when an officer or informant presents an opportunity for the offender to commit a crime which they were already predisposed, able and willing to commit without the inducement.

In the Ohio case, State v. Kimbro, (109 Ohio App.3d 802), law enforcement requested an undercover informant drive through an area of suspected drug activity without a specific target in mind, wearing a wire and with $40 in his pocket. The informant approached the defendant and asked how much he could buy for $40. The defendant reached into his pocket and gave the informant what appeared to be four pieces of crack cocaine.

The court ruled the entrapment defense was not available to the defendant because he was already predisposed to commit the crime (i.e., he would have committed the crime with the influence of the informant). The undercover informant had only provided an opportunity for the crime to take place. This case illustrates an example of opportunity and not where the entrapment defense would apply.

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Joslyn Law Firm | Columbus Lawyer Defending Entrapment

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm today if you believe you have been a victim of entrapment in Columbus, Ohio. It is important to hire a Columbus lawyer knowledgeable in defenses to criminal charges that will listen to the facts of your case and help you find the best possible outcome to your situation. Call (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your case in Franklin County and surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio.

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