Anyone who listens to the radio show “Bubba the Love Sponge” will be at least somewhat aware of the juicy legal drama that took place this past May where Bubba’s attorneys were found guilty for setting up an entrapment scheme to have radio rival, M.J. Schmitt’s attorney (Phil Campbell) arrested for a DUI (The three attorneys were later disbarred from practicing law ever again in the state of Florida). It’s the kind of story that makes for great radio, but at the heart of it is a serious legal issue. So we thought this would be a good opportunity to shed some light on entrapment and how it can be used, in some cases, by a defense attorney in DUI cases.
By definition, DUI entrapment is a practice whereby a law enforcement agent leads a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit, or if that agent is knowingly part of an entrapment set up. A classic example of entrapment is if a person has had a few drinks at a bar, and was encouraged by an officer to drive, then was pulled over and issued a citation for a DUI by that same officer. In the case of Phil Campbell, he had been set up by a legal assistant who worked for Bubba’s attorneys. She engaged Mr. Campbell while he was drinking at a bar, then persuaded him to get behind the wheel of her car. The officer who was part of the scheme was waiting around the corner and made the arrest soon after Mr. Campbell drove away from the bar.
In many jurisdictions, entrapment can be used as a possible defense against a criminal liability such as a DUI or DWI. It is, however, a difficult defense to prove and one that requires hard facts and an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney. In order to prove entrapment, your attorney must show that a law enforcement agent (i.e. police officer) induced you to commit a crime. Your attorney must also prove that you were not predisposed to commit the crime, meaning you would have not committed the crime without the entrapment scenario. The prosecution is likely to object to any claim of entrapment, so be prepared for a tough battle.
Do you feel as if you were a victim of entrapment? In order to prove this defense in court, you need the assistance of a knowledgeable DUI attorney who is experienced in dealing with entrapment cases. Call the office of Anton Castro Law or visit www.tampaattorneys.org for more information.