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Can You Be Charged with the Same Crime Twice?


Dealing with criminal charges can be a stressful thing to have to live through, and usually, a defendant that is accused of committing a crime will want the whole thing over as soon as possible and with the best possible results. The best outcome is always dropped charges or a not-guilty verdict. But, even if there is a conviction, and a sentence served, getting it all done with and over is typically the goal. After a criminal case has come to an end and the outcome resolved, an individual can go on with their life and move on, hopefully for the better.

However, if more evidence comes about after a conviction and sentence or if an acquittal has happened, does this mean that an individual can face charges more than once for the same crime? If you went through the criminal justice system and came to a resolution, then the good news is that no matter what new information may come about, you cannot be charged twice for the same crime you already have been tried on. This is due to the double jeopardy clause in the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment

After an arrest, it is important to speak with an attorney to learn more about your rights and how to approach defending yourself against your charges. In California, the Orange County criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo can help you manage your situation and provide you with the legal counsel and representation you need to get the best possible results from your case.

What Protections Stop a Person From Being Charged Multiple Times for the Same Crime?

The founding fathers knew that protections had to be in place against the State from using the law to mistreat the public. Certainly, there are going to be punishments that come for committing crimes and being found guilty. However, after one has served their time, then they must be let free from continued persecution. This is basically what the double jeopardy clause does. 

If a person is acquitted of a crime or is found guilty and serves their time, they cannot be charged again with the same crime in the future. The State is unable to continue to pursue a person relentlessly because of the double jeopardy doctrine.

It is important to understand, though, that even though a criminal charge can only be levied once, that does not mean that a person is free from all legal challenges. It is still possible that civil suits could be filed. In a civil suit, the outcome is not punishment by fines or time behind bars. Instead, successful civil suits render a plaintiff monetary damages to account for the harm they had to endure by the actions of another.

Speak to a California Criminal Defense Attorney Today

It is imperative to have a strong legal defense in place when you are facing any type of criminal charges. For help after an arrest in California, please call the California criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo to schedule a free initial consultation to go over your case at (714) 547-4636.

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