Nashville Criminal Attorneys Explain: Entrapment in Tennessee

Entrapment is now a valid defense in Tennessee, based on the premise that “public policy demands a purity of government and its processes which does not exist when law enforcement, in effect, manufactures the crime and the criminal as opposed to preventing the crime and apprehending the criminal.” (See State v. Jones, 598 S.W.2d at 216; State v. Shropshire, 874 S.W.2d at 638.)

The defense of entrapment did not exist in Tennessee until the 1980 Tennessee Supreme Court Decision in State v. Jones.  In 1989 the Legislature set out the defense of Entrapment in Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-505 as follows:

It is a defense to prosecution that law enforcement officials, acting either directly or through an agent, induced or persuaded an otherwise unwilling person to commit an unlawful act when the person was not predisposed to do so.

Whether law enforcement induced or persuaded an individual to commit a crime and whether the individual was predisposed to commit the crime are questions that must be decided by a judge or jury.  This analysis requires the judge or jury to focus on the subjective intent of the individual; that is to view the actions of law enforcement from the perspective of the person charged with the crime. (See State v. Shuck, 953 SW 2d at 666).

Establishing a successful entrapment defense requires skilled litigation from a criminal attorney experienced in trying cases before a jury.  Our Nashville criminal attorneys have tried dozens of jury trials in Davidson County – Nashville Criminal Courts.  This experience has taught our criminal defense attorneys how to effectively convey ideas and information for the benefit of our client’s cause.  If you are concerned about the actions taken by law enforcement in order to make an arrest in your case, please call (615) 829 – 8259 for a free consultation with one of our criminal attorneys in Nashville.


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