Tampa Defense Lawyers are often asked about whether a police officer, must advise they are a police officer, during some sort of undercover sting, whether it involves narcotics, prostitution, firearms, etc. In short, they absolutely are not required to do so. Like so much other information relating to the criminal justice system, this is an unfortunate myth that has resulted in countless disputes between Tampa criminal lawyers and their clients. Regardless of what movies, television and music tell folks, there is simply no such requirement on law enforcement. As a Tampa Defense Lawyer, I can assure you that posing this question only significantly weakens your case and eliminates potential defenses.
A separate and distinct issue is whether law enforcement contributed to a situation to the point, where they created the criminal intent resulting in an issue of entrapment. This situation arises when essentially a criminal defendant can argue “but for” law enforcement’s involvement, no crime would have been committed. Unfortunately for most folks though, the State Attorney’s Office is able to rebut this argument with evidence of prior similar crimes, where they can show the accused was predisposed to commit certain acts. A classic example of this occurs when someone alleges that law enforcement entrapped him to sell cocaine, while he has three prior convictions for the same crime. Obviously, the court is likely not going to grant that argument much credence in light of his prior criminal convictions and actions. Again when someone asks the individuals whether they are an undercover cop, it only eliminates potential defenses for your Tampa Defense Lawyer.
If you or someone you know has questions regarding an undercover law enforcement officer’s involvement in your arrest, contact the Tampa Defense Lawyers of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We have handled thousands of criminal cases throughout the Tampa Bay Area. If you would like to contact one of our Tampa Defense Lawyers immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. We appreciate your time and attention in checking out our Tampa Defense Lawyers’ blog and look forward to hearing from you.