Entrapment As An Affirmative Defense For Dealing Drugs
If you, were coerced into dealing drugs by an undercover police officer, there is an affirmative defense you can use called entrapment. To use it successfully, you need to understand what it involves and be prepared to make a vigorous defense.
An Example of Entrapment
An fictional example to ponder: A man is working as a bartender in a seedy section of town. A certain attractive female customer has started coming in night after night engaging him in conversation, mildly flirting, and asking the bartender if he can get her some narcotic pain-killers. He tells the woman he don't have any connections like that, and reminds her that it is against the law. This customer tells the bartender she has sciatica and is desperate.
Finally, one night he relents and obtains some oxycontin pills for the woman from an acquaintance who has a prescription. The woman turns out to be an undercover detective and the bartender is arrested for dealing in narcotics.
Elements of the Entrapment Defense
Entrapment is a legitimate defense if a police officer is coercing you to commit a crime, but the undercover police can legally to ask you to commit a crime and wait to see if you comply. They can also lie to you about their motives or needs when asking you to commit the crime.
Unlawful coercion is when an undercover police officer makes it nearly impossible for you to feel you can refuse, such as using threats, putting you in a dangerous position, or continually bombarding you with requests as the police officer did in the above example. In the above scenario, the bartender wasn't intending to sell drugs to anybody, but the woman continually worked on his sympathy and broke down his objections.
Subjective Defense Requirement
Some states also have a subjective position about entrapment claims, which means you not only have to prove you were unlawfully coerced by the police, but that you are not normally predisposed to committing this crime.
Things that would help or harm a defense would be whether the defendant was found to have other illegal drugs in their possession, whether the person was profiting from the transaction with the police officer or not, and whether the defendant had a prior criminal record with drug convictions. Even with a record, if a defendant can show they were making significant efforts to avoid drug activities and clean up their life, this would help their case.
To prepare for your defense, you will need a criminal defense lawyer from a firm like Novey and Tomko Law Firm. You will need to show that you did not intend to deal drugs, you are not disposed to criminal activity of this sort, and you were either coerced or threatened at the time of the incident.