In Minnesota, the entrapment defense may be used in a criminal case to combat government overreaching and obtain an acquittal. In order to prevail on the defense, a defendant will need to establish by a “fair preponderance of the evidence” that the government induced him to commit the crime. Inducement occurs when the criminal design is conceived in the mind of the government. Police will often pressure, badger, and lure a defendant to commit a crime he had no intention of committing, and would not have committed but for the government actions. Sound public policy prohibits the state from profiting from criminal prosecutions and convictions under these circumstances.
Once the defendant has made a successful showing of entrapment, the burden of proof shifts to the prosecution to show by proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime. A defendant’s predisposition can be established through: (1) the defendant’s active solicitation to commit the crime as when, for example, he is actively seeking minors for sex; (2) the defendant’s prior convictions for a similar type crimes; (3) the defendants prior criminal activity not resulting in a crime; and (4) the defendant’s reputation in the community as, for example, a thief or burglar.
A defendant has a right in Minnesota to present the entrapment defense to either a judge before trial or to a jury during trial. If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of police entrapment, you will need an experienced entrapment defense lawyer. Please call criminal defense attorney Robert J. Shane at (612) 339-1024 for a free phone consultation and protect your freedom and reputation.