We have all seen the TV shows and heard the news reports of people being arrested in sting operations designed to 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 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:
- Objective Entrapment
- Subjective Entrapment
Objective entrapment focuses on the conduct of law enforcement and the bars prosecution. Meaning, entrapment can be proved when the government's conduct violates 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, and dismissal of the charge is warranted.
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.
Often times in these cases, law enforcement uses tactics to lure ordinary people to travel to a location by lying or deceiving the individual. Ways that this can be done are:
- Seeking a person out who has given no indication they are looking for children and has no predisposition to commit the crime
- Never stating or verifying their alleged age
- Sending photos of attractive adults as instead of children
- Instigating sexual conversation and enticing these individuals to travel to the officer's location by manipulating their emotions or making repeated pleas
Get an Attorney on Your Side Today
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.