Frequently Asked Questions About Entrapment in Canada

July 15, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions About Entrapment in Canada

Entrapment is a legal defence claimed by an accused person about the evidence provided by the authorities about the possible commission of a crime. An entrapment claim, when proven, leads to staying of the proceedings. The defence of entrapment is a form of an application filed against the abuse of process resulting in a stay of proceedings.

The entrapment law in Canada prevents the authorities from attracting somebody who’s not already engaged in a criminal act into carrying out a felony by offering an opportunity to commit a crime.

Here, we will explain the legal defence of entrapment in the criminal justice system of Canada by providing answers to some of the frequently asked questions regarding entrapment.

What is Entrapment?

Entrapment refers to the action of inducing someone to commit a crime due to unfair law enforcement practices like persuasion, trickery, or fraud.

What Has To Be Proven In Order To Establish Entrapment Defence?

When raising the defence of entrapment, the defendant has to prove any of the following probabilities:

  • The police officer provides the accused an opportunity to commit a crime without having a reasonable suspicion that the appellant has already been involved in a criminal act
  • The police officer provides the accused an opportunity to commit a crime without acting pursuant to a bona fide inquiry
  • The police officer goes beyond providing the accused with an opportunity and persuades the appellant to commit a crime

Does The Defendant Bear The Burden Of Establishing Entrapment?

Yes, the onus of establishing the defence of entrapment falls on the defendant to prove any of the three probabilities mentioned above that entrapment has occurred.

Are The Entrapment Regulations Subject To Change In High Crime Areas?

Yes, in areas where the police reasonably suspect that criminal activities are occurring, they can engage a stranger in a conversation about a possible crime to arrest him or her later without having a reasonable doubt about that individual committing a felony.

At What Moment Must The Police Have Reasonable Suspicion That The Accused Was Carrying Out A Crime?

When the opportunity to commit a related felony was provided to the defendant by the police.

What Constitutes A Reasonable Suspicion For Assessing An Entrapment Defence?

Reasonable suspicion depends on both the content and reliability of the information provided by the police.

Are There Any Limitations To The Defence Of Entrapment?

Yes, there are three limitations to the defence of entrapment:

  • Entrapment must always involve police agents or the police. You cannot argue that you were persuaded into committing a crime by a private individual
  • There are some offences to which the defence of entrapment cannot be applied such as offences involving any acts of violence, physical harm, or killing
  • Defence of entrapment cannot be utilized as an argument related to extradition to a foreign country

At What Moment In Trial Should The Entrapment Defence Be Raised?

It’s usually raised after the jury or judge has found the accused guilty of the crime and before the defendant gets sentenced.

What Is A Suitable Remedy When Establishment Is Established?

A stay of proceedings is usually an appropriate remedy for entrapment. Nonetheless, the judge may also exclude evidence, where required, as a remedy.

Proving the authorities entrapped someone is very rare. If you have any further queries regarding the entrapment laws in Canada, get in touch with the expert legal team at Slaferek Callihoo, which helps its clients successfully defend different types of criminal offences in Edmonton, Alberta.

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contact Darin H. Slaferek

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