In a recent case south of Jacksonville, Florida, police arrested the defendant for offering to engage in prostitution for money. In this case, an undercover police officer contacted the defendant to engage her for prostitution over the phone. They met in a hotel room where the police had set up a hidden camera. The defendant arrived and agreed to engage in sexual intercourse for $200 as indicated over the phone. The undercover police officer paid her $200. At this point, the crime of offering to engage in prostitution for money was complete, and the police officer should have arrested her. However, the police officer did not arrest her and allowed her to get naked, rub lotion on herself and masturbate in front of him and on camera. After that sequence of events, the police officer arrested her.
The criminal defense lawyer filed a motion to dismiss based on the police officer’s improper conduct. A rarely used and rarely successful strategy for getting a case dropped is to file a motion to dismiss the charge claiming the methods used by the police, or the government, were so unfair and unjust that they violated the defendant’s Due Process rights. In this case, the judge denied the criminal defense attorney’s motion because there was probable cause to arrest the defendant before the improper conduct, and the police officer’s conduct was not so egregious that her Due Process rights were violated.
It is rare for a case to be dismissed based on the outrageously improper conduct of the police. One example where it has occurred was in a case where the police officer manufactured crack cocaine, sold it to the defendant and then charged him with possession of cocaine. Entrapment cases can also result in dropped charges, but again, those cases are extremely rare.