Sentencing entrapment defense

Sentencing entrapment defense

by | Feb 9, 2018 | drug charges |

Many Pennsylvania drug cases are brought with the assistance of a confidential informant, or undercover agent. Often, a sting operation will be setup by law enforcement in which a drug deal will be arranged between a suspect and an informant. It is in these circumstances that sentencing entrapment can happen.

Sentencing entrapment is different than general entrapment in that it can only be used as a defense regarding sentencing guidelines. General entrapment may be argued as a complete defense to a case and can therefore result in acquittal.

Consider this scenario: A law enforcement agency sets up a sting operation in an attempt to bust a drug dealer. They line up the help of a confidential informant and have he or she arrange a drug deal to take place at a scheduled time and location. As law enforcement agents, they are aware that sentencing guidelines on drug charges are tiered according to amounts of illegal drugs in possession. Keeping this in mind, they have their informant attempt to buy an amount that would result in a longer prison sentence than a lower level charge. As a result, the suspect brings a larger amount of drugs to the deal. This could be considered sentencing entrapment.

In a situation such as this, a sentencing entrapment defense could be argued in order to decrease a prison sentence. However, it could not be used to acquit the drug dealer.

If a scenario similar to the one described above has happened to you, contact an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable in entrapment defense. It could decrease a sentence by several years if successful.


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