Double Jeopardy and Dismissal of Charges

          The Double Jeopardy Clause, which is contained in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, states that no person shall "be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb."

 

          The Double Jeopardy Clause is designed to protect individuals accused of committing crimes against the following three things:

  1. It protects against a second prosecution for the same crime after acquittal;
  2. It protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction; and
  3. It protects against multiple punishments for the same crime.

 

          Whether or not the Double Jeopardy Clause was violated was the issue decided just last month by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in the case of United States v. McIntosh.  In that particular case, Mr. McIntosh was indicted for the crimes of possession with intent to distribute five kilograms of crack cocaine and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense.  Two months later, he pled guilty to both crimes.

 

          The following month, the Assistant United States Attorney handling the case advised the judge and McIntosh's lawyer that the date contained in the indictment pertaining to when the two crimes occurred was incorrect.  A month after that, McIntosh was indicted again for the exact same crimes, but the new indictment contained the correct date regarding when the offenses happened.

 

          In response, McIntosh's attorney filed a motion to dismiss the second indictment in which he argued that the Double Jeopardy Clause prohibited McIntosh from being prosecuted for the exact same charges a second time.  The U.S. District Judge deciding the motion ruled against McIntosh in part because of his belief that jeopardy did not attach when McIntosh pled guilty since the first indictment was defective.

 

          Fortunately for Mr. McIntosh, the appellate court that heard his appeal disagreed with the lower-court judge and ruled that the motion to dismiss should have been granted.  In doing so, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reasoned that the Double Jeopardy Clause "plainly protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction.  The acceptance of McIntosh's unconditional plea of guilt to the first indictment constituted convictions for the drug and firearm offenses:  The acceptance of an unconditional plea is itself a conviction.  Like a verdict of a jury it is conclusive.  More is not required; the court has nothing to do but give judgment and sentence.  A second conviction for the same offense violates the Double Jeopardy Clause."

Share This Blog

HACER UNA PREGUNTA,
DESCRIBE TU SITUACIÓN,
SOLICITA UNA CONSULTA

Llama ahora: (561) 832-4348

Contact Form Sidebar
* Campos RequeridosCampos Requeridos
Su Información Está Segura con Nosotros

Respetamos su privacidad. La información que nos brinda será utilizada para responder sus preguntas o agendar una cita si usted así lo solicita.

Follow Us On

400 Clematis St. Suite 206, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
SI TIENE PREGUNTAS O DESEA AGENDAR UNA CITA PRESIONE AQUÍ PARA LLAMAR AL (561) 832-4348
Desde 1990, el Sr. Chapman ha representado a personas que han sido acusadas de cometer delitos de varios tipos, tales como DUI, violencia doméstica, posesión de armas, posesión de drogas, eliminación de antecedentes penales, infracciones de tránsito, asesinato, homicidio involuntario, abuso infantil, delitos sexuales, abuso de personas mayores, apelaciones y violaciones de libertad condicional.
Abogado de Defensa Criminal en West Palm Beach, FL

© Propiedad Intelectual 2024. Abogado Penalista en Florida. Todos los Derechos Reservados.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram Skip to content