What can I do if I believe I am being criminally entrapped by the police?
02/25/2009 - Criminal - State: TX #15364
I was at my cousins house when he was arrested for drugs; I was also charged because I was there and I have a prior record (10 yrs ago). I was not involved at this time. My cousin hired lawyers for both of us and they were only interested until my cousins money ran out. They showed up in court maybe 2 times, if that, then filed for dismissal from our cases. I've never been offered a plea because my lawyer wouldn't show. My cousin stepped up and hand wrote a confession claiming everything, even put in confession why I was there, he took it and had it signed and notarized and brought it to me because he said it was weighing heavy on his heart.I turned that in to the District Attorney. I was just appointed a court appointed lawyer last month and trial date is coming up. I haven;t heard from this lawyer either. I never missed a court date and don't owe the bail bondsman anything (cousin paid all of that too).Yesterday, I was called by a cop pretending to be my bail bondsman and had me meet him to talk to an investigator my court appointed lawyer hired. Like a dummy, I did. I'm being arrested for nothing. I have no Idea what is going on, I've been on the straight and narrow after serving my time and have been working up until this happened. I may have a few traffic tickets but that's it. I have NOT been involved with drugs and I have no idea what to do at this point. I know I'm going to lose my job and my kids are gonna hate me all for being somewhere I shouldn't have been. I need help on steps to take. It was easier to deal with when I was guilty, but now that I'm not guilty I'm getting a raw deal and it hurts bad. My 10 years of hard work trying to turn my life around and prove to the mother of my kids and my kids that I've changed is taken away from me and no one cares. They are just looking at my prior record. What can I do?
Entrapment is a legal doctrine known as an affirmative defense. It must be proven by a preponderance of evidence and it generally is only available in criminal cases. Courts have held that the entrapment defense is available only to one who has been induced or lured by the law enforcement officer for the purpose of prosecution and into the commission of a crime which he otherwise had no intention of committing. Entrapment does not result merely because officers created a situation which made it possible for the defendant to commit the crime. In order to be found to be a victim of entrapment, the entrapped person must have been willing and willing to commit the crime prior to the alleged entrapment. The mere providing of an opportunity to commit a crime is not entrapment. In order to find entrapment, there must be persuasion or inducement to commit a crime by the entrapping party.
Entrapment occurs if the conduct of the investigating officers or their agents in dealing with the defendant would “likely” have induced a normally law-abiding person to commit the crime with which the defendant was charged. Entrapment does not result merely because officers created a situation which made it possible for the defendant to commit the crime. This is because it is presumed that a normally law-abiding person would resist the temptation to commit a crime if officers did nothing more than give him an opportunity to do so.
The defense known as “outrageous police conduct” is similar to the entrapment defense in that both are based on police misconduct and both will result in an acquittal if proven. Unlike entrapment, however, the “outrageous police conduct” defense is a very vague and broad defense with no strict requirements and no accepted definition. For example, in Provigo Corp. v. Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board (1994) 7 Cal. 4th 561 [28 Cal. Rptr. 2d 638], the defendants claimed that the use of minor decoys to purchase liquor constituted outrageous police conduct. The court responded, “[I]t is doubtful the Constitution may be construed as forbidding the use of minor decoys. Assuming such a violation occurred, it was at most a technical one that could not be deemed so ‘outrageous’ as to afford a defense to prosecution.”
Probable cause is the level of evidence held by a rational and objective observer necessary to justify logically accusing a specific suspect of a particular crime based upon reliable objective facts. For example, a police officer may claim there is probable cause for attempted theft when someone is found trespassing on private property late at night wearing a stocking mask, in order to justify stopping and searching the person for possession of criminal tools.
It is incumbent upon law enforcement officials to make a thorough investigation and exercise reasonable judgment before invoking the awesome power of arrest and detention, and the standards for evaluating the factual basis supporting a probable cause assessment are not less stringent in a warrantless arrest situation than in a case where a warrant is sought from a judicial officer. The probable cause determination for a warrantless arrest is based upon the information possessed by the officer at the time of the arrest and not by later acquired information.; Probable cause involves probabilities similar to the factual and practical questions of everyday life upon which reasonable and prudent persons act.; It is a pragmatic question to be determined in each case in the light of the particular circumstances and the particular offense involved.
If probable cause existed at the time of the arrest, the fact that investigation proves the person arrested to be innocent does not make the arrest unjustifiable.
In determining probable cause, all the information in the officer's possession, fair inferences from this information, and observations made by the officer, are generally pertinent. In determining the existence of probable cause, facts may be taken into consideration that would not be admissible on the issue of guilt.
Pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, prompt judicial determination of probable cause is required as a prerequisite to extended restraint of liberty following arrest. A judicial determination of probable cause after a warrantless arrest must be made as soon as reasonably possible, but generally no later than forty-eight hours after arrest.
I am prohibited from giving legal advice, as this service provides information of a general legal nature. I suggest you be persistent and badger the public defender until your calls are returned.
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02/25/2009 - Category: Criminal - State: TX #15364
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