What Happens When the Police Force Me to Commit a Crime in Tempe?

As Tempe criminal lawyers, we deal with issues of police entrapment most often when it comes to drug offenses, sex crimes, and DUIs in Tempe. Depending on your circumstances, an entrapment defense may be appropriate; however, many people are either unaware of the laws governing entrapment or misunderstand them.

What is Police Entrapment in Arizona?

When an officer causes you to commit a crime that you would not otherwise have committed, it is called entrapment. Entrapment may be a fairly simple idea, but it can be very difficult to prove. For an entrapment defense in Tempe, the Arizona Revised Statutes specifically state that it is up to the defense to prove that:

  • The idea of committing the offense started with law enforcement officers or their agents rather than with the person.
  • The law enforcement officers or their agents urged and induced the person to commit the offense.
  • The person was not predisposed to commit the type of offense charged before the law enforcement officers or their agents urged and induced the person to commit the offense.

Is It Entrapment Anytime an Officer Initiates a Crime?

This is where most of the misunderstanding and confusion about entrapment starts. A police officer can initiate the crime while on duty, and it might not be considered entrapment. For example, if an undercover officer approaches a suspected drug dealer, asks to buy marijuana, and the dealer provides it, that is probably not entrapment. If an officer repeatedly harasses a person to find drugs, and that person eventually relents, then it could be considered entrapment. The most important thing to understand about police entrapment is that you must prove you were not predisposed to commit the crime.

How Can I Prove Entrapment?

If you believe police pressured you into committing a crime, we strongly recommend you speak with an experienced Tempe criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your rights. Proving entrapment can be very tricky, especially if you already have past offenses on your record. It can also be very difficult to locate witnesses who can prove an officer was pressing you to commit the crime. Additionally, many people believe that police officers are likely to protect each other in these cases, meaning it is highly unlikely that any officers will admit to entrapment or call a fellow officer out for it.

If you believe you were pressured into committing a crime by a police officer, contact a skilled Tempe criminal lawyer with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation. In the meantime, check out a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law - What You Must Know.