Why You May Be Charged And Tried More Than Once For The Same Crime

16 March 2018
 Categories: , Blog


A common belief is that a person cannot be charged more than once for the same crime, but this isn't always true. Here are cases in which you may be charged twice for the same crime:

You Were neither Convicted nor Acquitted

You cannot be convicted of the same crime only if your first trial ended in an acquittal or conviction. For example, if you have been convicted of DUI and sentenced to one month in jail, the prosecution can't charge you with DUI again even if they feel the sentence is too lenient. However, you can be charged with the same crime if your initial trial ended in a mistrial or a hung jury.

A mistrial is a situation in which a case is terminated before its normal conclusion. For example, a judge may declare a mistrial if they realize that they don't have jurisdiction over the defender. A hung jury is a situation in which the jury cannot reach a unanimous or majority decision, as required by law, even after lengthy deliberations. In both cases, you can be charged with the same crime again.

You Are Being Charged By Different Jurisdictions

Secondly, you can also be charged with the same crime twice if the two charges are brought by different jurisdictions. This may be the case if you omitted a crime that violated the law of two jurisdictions. For example, if you violate both a state and federal law, you can be charged both in a state and federal court for the same crime. Another example is if your crime has violated the respective laws of two states; in such a case, both states can charge you for the same crime under their respective laws.

You May be Charged with Crime and Conspiracy to Commit the Same Crime

The same crime can elicit more than one version of the crime. A popular case is that where you are charged with a crime and the conspiracy to commit the same crime. For example, you can be charged with fraud and the conspiracy to commit fraud ā€“ all from the same crime. The conspiracy to commit a crime charge if you planned to commit the crime with at least one other person, even if one of you pulled out of the conspiracy. Therefore, even if you have been charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, you can still be charged with the crime.

Therefore, if you have overcome the first trial and the police have come for you again, don't assume it's all a mistake. Consult your criminal defense lawyer because you may be convicted this time around. Contact a firm, like Law Offices of Alyson L. Sommers, P.A. Criminal Defense Attorney, to get started.