Washington, DC criminal defense lawyer Jay P. Mykytiuk explains how an entrapment defense works and when it’s applicable.
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In any case, entrapment is one of the most difficult defenses to put on. In essence, the entrapment defense means that you’re telling the judge or the jury that it was the police that made you commit a crime that you otherwise would not have committed. So essentially, to put on an entrapment defense in a solicitation case, you have to convince the factfinder, again, whether that’s a judge or jury, that the police made you make that offer of money for sexual favors; that without the police setting you up, forcing you to make this decision to make an offer, that you would never have done that. It is a technical defense and it is tough to get jurors or judges to believe that somebody that stops on the side of the road in the middle of the night and talks to usually a woman that is obviously dressed as a prostitute, that you would not have done that but for the police having set all this up. The best defense in solicitation cases is usually that you did not make the offer of money for sex or that you had no intention of following through with the act, and in most cases, an outcome that is what we call diversion, meaning doing some community service for a dismissal in the case, is usually the way to go here. That’s not to say that some of these cases shouldn’t be tried, and in some cases the police really can’t prove that a conversation where the elements of the crime are met happened, but it is a difficult defense to put on as entrapment, and we almost never put that on any of these cases.