We have all seen the TV shows and heard the news reports of people being arrested in sting operations designed the catch adults using the internet to meet minors for sex. What we don't see is what happened before that person arrived at the residence. Often times it was law enforcement that lured, enticed, or tricked a person into committing these offenses. When the law enforcement uses outrageous means to create a crime with the purposes of then arresting an otherwise law abiding citizen or indices a person not predisposed to commit a crime into committing an offense they are guilty of "entrapment", and the case may be dismissed.
Florida Courts recognize two forms of entrapment. The first form of entrapment called "Objective Entrapment" focuses on the conduct of law enforcement and bars prosecution when the government's conduct offends the decency and sense of justice that it amounts to a violation of the Defendant's Due Process Rights afforded under Florida Constitution. Therefore in the presence of egregious law enforcement conduct when a Court determines as a matter of law, that law enforcement violated a Defendant's Due Process rights, dismissal of the charge is warranted.
The second form of entrapment is Subjective Entrapment. This form of Entrapment exists when the Governments' quest for convictions leads to the apprehension of otherwise law-abiding-citizens, who if left to their own devices would likely have never violated the law. Florida has codified the defense of "Subjective Entrapment" in subsection (1) of Fla. Stat. § 771.201.
In sum, law enforcement cannot originate a criminal design, implant on an innocent person's mind the disposition to commit the crime and then induce the commission of that crime so that the Government may prosecute. Often times in these to catch a predator cases law enforcement uses tactics to lure ordinary people to travel to a location by lying or deceiving the individual, seeking a person out when that person gives no indication they are looking for children and has no predisposition to commit the crime, by never stating or verifying their alleged age, by sending photos of attractive adults to the person as opposed to a child, or by instigating sexual conversation and enticing these individuals to travel to the officers location by manipulating their emotions or making repeated pleas.
If you have been arrested, or accused of "Traveling to Meet a Minor", or "Using the Computer to Solicit a Minor" it is important that you seek the services of an experienced attorney to make sure that you were not the victim of Government Entrapment. The Attorneys at Taracks & Associates have been successful in getting cases dismissed on entrapment grounds specifically in these "To Catch a Predator" type cases. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.