Can Someone Be Charged In Federal And State Court For The Same Crime?
Whether a criminal case is handled by state or federal court depends on the nature and circumstances of the alleged offense. Generally, state crimes are those that involve violations of state law, and federal crimes are those that involve violations of federal law. State crimes are pursued by local police officers, state agents, or county sheriffs. On the other hand, federal crimes usually involve federal government agencies like the FBI, DEA, IRS, and DHS. If you have been arrested, it’s crucial that you know whether your case will be handled in a state or federal court. You should also know if you can be charged in both state and federal courts for the same crime.
So, can someone be charged in federal and state court for the same crime? Depending on the crime in question, a person may face both state and federal charges for the same crime. If a person commits a crime that violates both state and federal laws, they may face both state and federal charges for the same crime.
You might have heard of “double jeopardy.” Many people believe that the right against “double jeopardy” means that you cannot be charged in federal and state court for the same crime. This is not entirely true. The “dual sovereignty” doctrine, which is an exception to the double jeopardy rule, states that both state and federal governments can separately prosecute a defendant for the same crime if the crime violates both state and federal laws. And if you are charged in both state and federal court, you can also face sentencing in both courts.
Understanding Double Jeopardy and Dual Sovereignty
The “double jeopardy” clause, which is found under the Fifth Amendment, states that a person cannot be prosecuted after an acquittal for the same crime. This clause guarantees that a person cannot be convicted twice for the same offense. The “double jeopardy clause” also states that there will be no multiple punishments for the same crime. The double jeopardy clause is a concept that a State shouldn’t be allowed to try repeatedly to convict someone for an alleged crime as that subjects someone to undue embarrassment and expense and increases the chances that someone innocent may be found guilty.
However, jeopardy only applies to prosecutions of the same crimes by the same sovereign. In the U.S., States are “separate sovereigns” from the federal government. And as per the “dual sovereignty” doctrine, different sovereigns, for example, a state and federal government, can legally charge a person for the same crime if they violate the laws of each sovereignty.
It is crucial to note that under the dual sovereignty doctrine, even if an individual was already prosecuted in a state court, they can still be prosecuted in a federal court for the same offense if the crime was also a federal offense. The opposite is also true.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges and need legal help, contact our skilled and dedicated Fort Lauderdale criminal attorneys at Joyce A. Julian, P.A.