Can I Be Tried Twice for the Same Crime?

The United States Constitution provides various protections. However, many people don’t fully recognize the importance of their constitutional rights until they need them. Some constitutional rights are intended to protect individuals when facing criminal charges. For instance, you are afforded the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present while the police question you. In addition, you are protected from being personally searched or seized or having your property searched or seized in numerous situations. Another constitutional right you may not be aware of is the protection against being charged twice for the same crime. “Double jeopardy” is a term you may have heard before, but you may not know precisely what it means. Prosecutors are prohibited from repeatedly bringing the exact charges against an individual in the same court. Nevertheless, double jeopardy is not as simple as it appears. If you’re facing a criminal trial, please continue reading to learn whether you can be tried twice for the same crime in different states and how a talented Bergen County Criminal Defense Attorney can help safeguard your rights. 

What Are My Double Jeopardy Rights?

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “No person shall be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life and limb.” This clause protects individuals from being charged with, tried for, or convicted of the same crime twice. While this may sound relatively straightforward, this common law concept is much more complex than it seems. There are exceptions to the Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. Consitution. If an individual is accused of a federal offense, the “dual sovereignty doctrine” allows them to be tried and convicted in both state and federal court. In addition, although law enforcement cannot charge you twice in one state for a single offense, they can charge you twice in different states.

Can I Be Tried for the Same Crime in Different States?

As mentioned above, if you have been convicted or acquitted of a crime in a particular jurisdiction, you typically cannot be tried for the same crime in the same court again. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot be tried in another state or the federal court system if charges are brought against you in those jurisdictions. If a single act violates the law of two states, the law can treat this act as a separate offense. Therefore, double jeopardy may not apply if you face criminal charges in more than one state for a single act or a federal offense.

Legal issues that cross state lines can be incredibly challenging to defend. Hence, it’s in your best interest to contact a determined attorney from The Law Office of Carl Spector, who can help ensure your rights aren’t violated.