How is Entrapment a Defense in Certain Computer Crime Cases?

The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) thoroughly investigates computer crimes by using chat rooms, sting operations and other covert approaches to identify and prosecute people whom they allege are criminals. In Arizona, attorneys may build defenses against computer crimes allegations based on entrapment.

Entrapment arose as an affirmative defense out of the case Jacobson v. United States, 503 U.S. 540(1992), wherein the Supreme Court ruled that "government agents may not originate a criminal design, implant in an innocent person's mind the disposition to commit a criminal act, and then induce commission of the crime so that the Government may prosecute." The government must prove that the individual was predisposed to committing the crime and would have done so anyway, had the government not become involved.

In this particular 1992 case, Jacobson was induced to purchase child pornography. The government did not just offer Jacobson the opportunity to buy child pornography, instead it spent 26 months sending mailings and communications to get Jacobson to buy pornographic magazines. During Jacobson's testimony, he said he did not realize the magazines would contain photos of minors.

With the always-connected communication available through the Internet today, computer crime has become more prominent, and government agencies have new venues through which to launch sting operations. Anyone targeted for computer crime should hire an experienced Tucson computer crime defense lawyer.

Nesci & St. Louis works with and has access to technology experts and other resources to build effective defenses for clients accused of computer crimes.