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Criminal Law Matters

Entrapment as a Defense to Georgia Criminal Charges

Entrapment is a type of defense in criminal cases. If the defense of entrapment is successful, it will result in a dismissal of the charges against a defendant. In order to be successful in a Georgia entrapment defense, the defendant admits he committed the crime in question. However, he denies criminal responsibility, arguing that he was enticed into engaging in the criminal activity by law enforcement officials. He also must show that without such enticement, he would not have normally committed such acts. Entrapment is never a defense to very serious crimes such as homicide or felony murder, but can be very effective in cases such as-

  • Sale and possession of drugs
  • Prostitution
  • Lewd conduct
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
  • Computer crimes, including possession of child pornography
  • Embezzlement
  • Internet sting operations

What Needs to be Proven for a Successful Entrapment Defense?

Entrapment is an affirmative defense, meaning that the burden to prove switches to the defendant, who must show-

  1. The law enforcement officer, or agent of a law enforcement agency, induced the defendant to commit the crime; and

  2. The defendant was not predisposed to committing the crime in question. (i.e. He would not have done it if the police did not act in the way they did.)

It is not good enough to prove the first point alone. Even if the defendant was induced to commit the crime by a police officer, if he had a history of committing such acts, a defense of entrapment will almost always fail.

Internet Sting Operations and Entrapment Defense in Georgia

The entrapment defense has become common in internet sting cases, such as those conducted in the NBC television show “To Catch a Predator.” A sting operation occurs when law enforcement officers put together a deceptive scheme designed to catch a person committing a crime. A good example of an internet sting operation is when Atlanta police or the FBI pose as a minor online, and contacts an adult for sexual purposes. Often times, the police in this type of scheme will communicate with the adult over a number of days or weeks. The adult is arrested when he sets up a meeting with the “minor” for sexual purposes.

If you have been a victim of entrapment, or any other kind of police deception, it is important that you contact an experienced Georgia entrapment attorney. The legal team at J. M. Heller, Attorney at Law, P.C. has significant experience in cases where individuals have been tricked into committing crimes. We handle matters across North Georgia, including entrapment cases in Cherokee, Cobb, Bartow, Pickens, and Gordon counties. Call our office today at (678) 992-4346. All information is kept strictly confidential.