Police officers sometimes work undercover or perform “sting” operations in order to catch criminals. There is a very fine line between performing an investigation and entrapment. Entrapment occurs whenever law enforcement agents induce an individual to commit a crime that he or she normally would not have committed.
Undercover officers who merely provide an opportunity for people to break the law are not usually committing entrapment. When they use unscrupulous techniques such as threats, coercion, fraud or harassment, this could be crossing the line into entrapment. The key to determining this is whether or not an officer’s actions would have caused a reasonable person to commit the same crime when faced with an identical situation.