Prostitution and Entrapment

prostitution, entrapment, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyEvery few weeks, local headlines celebrate the success of another prostitution sting. Inevitably, the stories are similar: law enforcement officials went undercover, posing as prostitutes or “johns” to help clear the streets of sex-for-hire activities. While the average citizen may not think twice about such police action, if you have been arrested for prostitution or soliciting a prostitute, the manner in which the sting was conducted can have a drastic impact on outcome of your case. Many stings border on entrapment, and it important to understand exactly what that means.

What is Entrapment?

Under Illinois law, a person is not guilty of criminal activity if he or she was “incited or induced by a public officer or employee, or agent of either, for the purpose of obtaining evidence for the prosecution of that person.” Such inducement is called entrapment, and the law is meant to prevent law enforcement from convincing a person to commit a crime they would not have committed otherwise. Providing an opportunity to commit the crime, however, is not considered entrapment, and the part of law upon which prostitution stings typically rely.

Predisposition

A person who is “predisposed” to commit a crime cannot use entrapment as a defense, according to Illinois case law. Predisposition, however, can be a very complex concept, and will generally be dependent upon the specific circumstances of the arrest. The line between a sting and entrapment is often a very fine one, and may, in fact hinge, on who spoke first.

Context Matters

Consider a scenario in which you are walking home one night and are approached by a person you assume to be a prostitute. You have never paid for the services of a prostitute before nor are you particularly inclined to do so. The prostitute continues to follow you and eventually persuades you to try it once. If the prostitute turns out to be undercover police officer, you would likely be able to make a good case for entrapment.

Now consider a very different situation. Assume you pull up to the curb in an area you know to be frequented by prostitutes and begin asking about prices and details. In this case, entrapment would not be a very reasonable defense for your actions. By actively seeking a prostitute, you demonstrated a predisposition for committing a crime, regardless of the involvement of law enforcement.

If you are facing criminal charges related to prostitution, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows. We will review your case and help you understand your options for building a responsible, effective defense. Schedule your free, confidential consultation today by calling 847-253-3100.

 

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora-beacon-news/crime/ct-abn-prostitute-abn-0419-20150417-story.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K7-12.htm

http://nationalparalegal.edu/public_documents/courseware_asp_files/criminalLaw/defenses/Entrapment.asp

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