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What is entrapment?

The idea of being framed for a crime is terrifying. It is even more so when you worry about law enforcement tricking you into committing a crime. However, you should understand that law enforcement in Virginia will not do that. It is against the law. The United States Department of Justice explains that when law enforcement coerces or otherwise influences you to commit a crime, it could be entrapment.

There is a fine line between proper police work and entrapment. The key to proving a situation is entrapment is your involvement. If you were forced or otherwise led to commit a crime that you would not have otherwise committed, then it becomes entrapment. Your main burden in proving your case will be to show you were an innocent person who would not have committed the crime under any other circumstances.

Entrapment is not when law enforcement sets up a criminal situation and ask you to be involved. It is not when law enforcement sets up a sting where they lure people to commit a crime. In both of those situations, you have the full ability to not do the crime. You could walk away from a bad situation or not even show up to a sting.

If you are a willing participant, then you cannot prove law enforcement did something wrong. You have to be unwilling or unaware. You must show you would normally be very unlikely to commit the crime. If you cannot prove that, then you probably cannot use entrapment as a valid defense claim. This information is for education. It is not legal advice.

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