A former law enforcement officer, Thad Furlong now serves as a partner at the Virginia law firm Furlong & Drewniak PLLC. He provides expert, insightful legal counsel for people accused of crimes. Contact Thaddeus Furlong at 703-988-1010.
Many criminal defendants believe they have been pressured by government agents to commit a crime via fraud, intimidation, harassment, or blandishments. Criminal lawyers often invoke an entrapment defense based on evidence that their clients carried out the offense under direction from police officers or other law enforcement personnel. While the law allows police officers to tell some lies in the course of investigation, statutes forbid extreme or repeated requests in the guise of friendship, need, or admiration to convince a suspect to commit a crime.
An entrapment defense requires lawyers to present evidence that meets a subjective or an objective standard. The case meets the objective standard if the officer’s actions would be likely to compel most people, even the most law-abiding ones, to execute a crime. The subjective standard, on the other hand, necessitates a verdict by jurors that indicates that the entrapment preyed on the offender’s predisposition to commit the offense; the entrapment negates the defendant’s responsibility for his or her actions.