Can I Use Entrapment as a Defense to My Criminal Charge in Minnesota?

The Minnesota Court has acknowledged the entrapment defense since 1909, which has proven effective in defeating many types of criminal charges. Entrapment is simply any situation where a police officer or law enforcement agent persuades a person to commit a criminal offense so that they can obtain evidence that they’ll use to prosecute them. To make a valid case, the defendant must submit evidence proving that the crime was persuaded by law enforcement and their subsequent lack of predisposition to commit the said delinquency.

Did a law enforcement officer coerce you to commit a crime? Our criminal defense attorneys at Knutson + Casey are here to help. Our lawyers are well versed in Minnesota laws, so they are your best bet to make a decent entrapment defense on your behalf.

Understanding Opportunity vs. Entrapment

Opportunity is when a law enforcement officer or any other government agent avails the defendant of a chance to willingly engage in criminal activity. Below is an example of such a scenario:

  • When a law enforcement officer is working undercover, poses as a consumer with the intention of purchasing drugs from the defendant

On the other hand, entrapment is when law enforcement officers or government agents resort to threats, harassment, fraud, flattery, persistent coercion, or appeals to sympathy based on extraordinary circumstances to cause a person to commit a crime. An example of an entrapment case would be:

  • If the defendant is charged for selling illegal drugs to an undercover police officer after several days/weeks of the officer stopping by the defendant’s home and begging them to sell him drugs despite several refusals by the defendant

In the above example, the police officer resorted to extreme behavior to coerce the defendant to sell him the illegal drugs. This could result in a successful entrapment defense, and an excellent criminal defense attorney may get the charges against the defendant dismissed.

The Question of the Defendant’s Predisposition to Engage in Criminal Activity

The entrapment defense could be rendered ineffective if the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a suspect had the predisposition to commit the crime irrespective of being induced. It is, therefore, essential to inform your lawyer of any past criminal history, since the prosecution may use it to try and prove your predisposition to engage in illegal activity.

However, irrelevant past criminal activity may be dismissed as evidence. The case could be ignored if the prosecution fails to prove the defendant willingly took advantage of the opportunity to commit a crime.

Who Constitutes Entrapment in Minnesota?

Entrapment law is intended to help prevent law enforcement officers and other government officials from using tactics to coerce somebody to commit a criminal act. Crimes may range from soliciting a prostitute and violent acts to drug crimes.

What Is Your Role as the Defendant?

In Minnesota, entrapment is recognized as a complete defense to a crime. If this is your defense to a criminal charge against you, the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes requires:

  • In writing, the defendants make known to the prosecutor that they plot to use entrapment as part of their defense tactic; and
  • The defendants must make an admission of guilt that they committed the wrongdoing they have been charged with

Suppose the defendant, through the help of a Minnesota criminal defense attorney, can prove that they would not have committed the crime without being coerced. In that case, the entrapment defense may be successful.

Why You Need an Attorney

Having criminal charges brought against you may be overwhelming. Trying to navigate the criminal justice system alone is no easy feat. It can be unpredictable and frustrating. Enlisting the help of a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer is not only easier on you overall, but also boosts your chances of a favorable outcome.

A seasoned criminal defense attorney can guide you through the legal process, countercheck the evidence presented against you, and exhaust all resources by uniquely tailoring a legal argument to try to get the charges against you dismissed.

Get the Help You Need From a Knutson + Casey Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing a criminal charge that you believe was caused by the influence of an impermissible police officer or law enforcement agent, seeking the guidance of a resourceful Minnesota criminal defense attorney is your best option. Our attorneys at Knutson + Casey have years of experience in various criminal defense laws, including the entrapment defense. We understand that every case is different, and you may be assured we’ll fight for you and provide valuable guidance in building a solid case that proves evidence of entrapment was present in a bid to have your case dismissed.

If you’d like to procure the services of our legal team in handling your criminal case, you may schedule a free consultation by completing a contact form or directly calling us at (507) 344-8888.