Paving The Way To Justice

Cassandra Stamm
Paving The Way To Justice

What is entrapment in Hawaii?

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Criminal Law

Entrapment is a complex and often misunderstood concept in the legal system of Hawaii.

Understanding entrapment can help individuals grasp the legal defense and recognize the balance the law strives to maintain between deterring crime and protecting individual rights.

How does Hawaii define entrapment?

In Hawaii, the legal system has set specific criteria for what constitutes entrapment. Firstly, the defendant must prove that the idea of committing the crime originated with the law enforcement officers. If the officers then executed a persuasion strategy that would have caused an ordinarily law-abiding person to commit the crime, it is entrapment.

The key element here involves the idea of inducement; that is, pushing or encouraging someone to break the law. This prevents the police from creating criminals rather than catching them in the act of a crime they decided to commit on their own.

Examples of entrapment

An example of entrapment might involve an undercover officer pressuring someone into purchasing illegal drugs, despite the person initally showing no intention or some hesitation to buy them. If the court finds that the officer’s actions would have convinced an average, law-abiding citizen to make the purchase, it may rule the incident as entrapment.

Protecting against entrapment

Hawaii aims to strike a delicate balance between proactive law enforcement and the protection of individual freedoms. By recognizing and regulating against entrapment, the legal system ensures that individuals do not become unfairly coerced into criminal activity.

Protection against entrapment helps uphold the principle that individuals should only face charges for crimes they committed out of their own volition.