Can police hide in wooded areas without lights on?

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Can police hide in wooded areas without lights on?

I live in a semi rural
neighborhood in massachusetts with
several cranberry bogs and there
is a cop that sometimes tucks
himself in the woods and shuts his
lights off completely, so he can
sneak up and pull over anyone who
drives through. Is this legal or
entrapment?

Asked on April 14, 2018 under General Practice, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Absolutely; this is legal. The fact is that the police traps are perfectly permissable and have been judicially upheld. Entrapment is when a law enforcement agent induces someone to commit a criminal offence that the person would have otherwise committed. And a police officer hiding with their lights off has nothing to do with whether or not a person drives where they shouldn't (or speeds, etc.)

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

This is completely legal. Being stealthy is NOT "entrapment." Entrapment is when a police office basically starts a crime and gets people to go do it--like calling you up and saying, "I've got some bootleg cigarrettes...want to buy some?" The crime would not have happened (at least arguably), save for the officer initiating it. But an officer just quietly waiting to see who, of their own free will, does something they should not be doing, is not entrapment and is not illegal.


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