What constitutes entrapment?

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What constitutes entrapment?

Is it entrapment if the police wait at the bottom of a bridge (that is closed for repairs) for people who have been at a club at the top of the bridge and have to walk down the bridge and then charge them with public drunkeness and disorderly conduct?

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, that is not entrapment, any more than it is entrapment for the highway patrol or state troopers to station their cars near areas where people are known to speed.

Entrapment is when the actual criminal act would not have been done except for the police "commissioning" or causing the crime...for example, a police officer going to a teenager and saying, "Hey, kid, c'mon, buy some drugs...I got some good stuff here, cheap," would likely be entrapment, since the police officer himself initiated the crime. But simply waiting where you feel intoxicated people are likely to walk, without being the one serving them alcohal or encouraging them to drink, is not entrapment--it's just good, common sense policing.


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