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Law School Case Brief

Lewis v. State - 634 So. 2d 207 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1994)

Rule:

Under the subjective test for entrapment, the first question to be addressed is whether an agent of the government induced the accused to commit the offense charged. If the first question is answered affirmatively, then the second question to be determined is whether the accused was predisposed to commit the offense charged; that is, whether the accused was awaiting any propitious opportunity or was ready and willing, without persuasion, to commit the offense. Where there is a factual question of predisposition at issue, the entrapment evaluation cannot be decided as a matter of law.

Facts:

Defendant Brian Lewis was charged with trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. At trail in Florida state court, Lewis filed a motion to dismiss the charges on the ground of objective entrapment. The trial court denied the motion. Lewis then entered a plea of no contest to trafficking in cocaine, reserving his right to appeal the motion to dismiss. In return, the State dropped the conspiracy charge and reduced the 15-year mandatory minimum sentence to five years. 

Issue:

Did the trial court err in denying the dismissal in light of the subjective entrapment test?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The appellate court explained that the two-prong subjective entrapment test first asked if an agent of the government induced the accused to commit the offense charged. If so, the second prong asked whether the accused was predisposed to commit the offense charged. The court affirmed the trial court's denial of Lewis' motion to dismiss. A factual question remained regarding Lewis' predisposition to commit the crime charged, and under the second prong of the Munoz test, he could not be found to have been subjectively entrapped as a matter of law. Lewis' case demonstrated that a disputed issue of facts existed regarding his predisposition. The court, therefore, concluded that Lewis was not subjectively entrapped as a matter of law and affirmed the trial court's denial of his motion to dismiss. Because Lewis pleaded no contest to the charge, his conviction and sentence were affirmed.

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