One of the most ruinous experiences a person can be faced with is being charged with a sex crime. Whether the charges involve minors, solicitation or assault, any accusation that includes sexual misconduct can prove to be devastating.
However, being charged with an offense is not the same as being convicted. There are multiple ways of defending against these types of charges in order to avoid a conviction. One potential defense is entrapment. Many people may have heard this term before but do not understand if or how it may apply to their situation.
Entrapment is defined by Florida statutes as a situation involving law enforcement agents - or people working with or posing as law enforcement agents - who encourage or cause someone to engage in criminal activity so that the law enforcement officer can obtain evidence of a criminal act. Oftentimes, we hear this argument used when a law enforcement agent poses as a minor online and tries to persuade an adult to meet up for a sexual encounter.
While this may seem like a straightforward defense, the fact is that establishing entrapment can be very complicated. Generally, a person will need to prove that he or she would have never engaged in unlawful behaviors had it not been for the agent coercing them to do so. Among other things, a person's criminal history and character could play key roles in supporting an entrapment defense.
While this defense is not appropriate in every situation, it is one possible approach that could be effective in certain cases.
If you or a loved one has recently been charged with a criminal offense, you should remember that every person accused of a crime in the U.S. is innocent until proven guilty. This means that you still have rights that must be observed, including the right to defend yourself against the charges.
Working with a defense attorney is one step that you can take to protect yourself and your rights.