I got arrested by an undercover officer. Is that entrapment?

by Sami Azhari on February 1, 2010

Illinois Law on Entrapment

Illinois law provides certain affirmative defenses to persons who are accused of crimes. One of these defenses is entrapment, which alleges generally that the police are responsible causing the defendant to commit the offense. Entrapment is often raised in cases of online solicitation of a child (e.g., where an undercover police officer poses as a minor on the internet and lures the defendant to meeting for a sexual encounter), possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (e.g., where an undercover officer is involving in purchasing drugs from the defendant), and prostitution (e.g., where an undercover cop pretends to be a hooker and offers sexual services to the defendant).

The statute on entrapment provides the following: a person is not guilty of an offense if his or her conduct is incited or induced by a public officer or employee, or agent of either, for the purpose of obtaining evidence for the prosecution of that person. However, this section is inapplicable if the person was pre-disposed to commit the offense and the public officer or employee, or agent of either, merely affords to that person the opportunity or facility for committing an offense. See 720 ILCS 5/7-12.

Entrapment is an affirmative defense which means that prior to trial the defendant must inform the State that he or she plans on using it at trial. In order to assert entrapment as a defense, the defendant must admit that they did in fact commit the crime with which they have been charged. Once the defendant meets their burden of proving that they were induced by the public officer to commit the crime, the burden lies with the State to show that the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime. If the State cannot prove that the defendant would have committed the crime anyway, the entrapment defense will be successful.

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