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If the Confidential Informant Was the Person Who Initiated a Crime, Would That Be Considered a Form of Entrapment?

It is difficult for a defendant to beat a drug charge based on entrapment. It is not enough to show that the informant initiated the transaction. entrapmentTo succeed on an entrapment defense, a defendant must show that the “criminal design originated in the mind of law enforcement officials, or any person acting under their direction, and the defendant was lured or induced to commit a crime that the defendant had not otherwise intended to commit.” Additionally, under Washington state law, a defendant has the burden of proving this defense. In other words, the state’s attorney doesn’t have to prove the lack of entrapment beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally, if a defendant claims entrapment, the jurors are told that “the use of a reasonable amount of persuasion [by the informant] to overcome reluctance does not constitute entrapment.” The question of entrapment is something that I am often asked about. A lot of people believe that if the informant or undercover cop suggests something, that automatically amounts to entrapment. This is not correct. This is also a subject that comes up in prostitution cases. Many men accused of patronizing a prostitute believe that there are special ways things need to be worded during a prostitution investigation, and if it is not worded in that way a dismissal will result.

Learn more about informants.