Just about everybody knows that double jeopardy means that somebody cannot be convicted of the same crime twice. However, not every situation is that simple, prompting the question, “What is double jeopardy?”
Once the jury is empanelled in a jury trial or the first witness is called in a bench trial, double jeopardy attaches. If the trial ends in a not guilty verdict, the state cannot appeal or retry the case. However, the state can appeal a conviction. The double jeopardy bar does not prevent the state and federal government from successive prosecutions for the same act. This is why you may hear about the federal government stepping in after an acquittal in state court. This doctrine was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in Heath v. Alabama, 474 U.S. 82 (1985).
Double jeopardy is prohibited by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 10 of the Ohio Constitution, and Ohio Revised Code 2941.25 (R.C. 2941.25). To establish a claim for double jeopardy, one must show that there was a former prosecution in the same state for the same offense; the same person was in jeopardy in the first prosecution; the parties are identical in both prosecutions; and the offense was one that creates a bar. The offense does not create a bar if the former and current offenses each have an element that the other does not have. This is known as the Blockburger Test, named after the United States Supreme Court decision in Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299 (1932).
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Attorney Gigiano is a Medina criminal trial attorney in Wadsworth, Ohio. If you have questions about this or other questions you need answered by an experienced Wooster criminal trial lawyer near Orrville, or an Akron criminal trial lawyer near Barberton, please call Attorney Daniel F. Gigiano at 330-336-3330. Attorney Gigiano has tried over thirty-five jury trials to a verdict, many of them in Medina County, Summit County and Wayne County. As a result of his hard work and dedication, Daniel Gigiano’s reviews in numerous websites are well-received, and his work is documented in several articles and links. Attorney’s hard work has yielded successful results for his clients, as indicated by the following comments: Daniel Gigiano reviews; Daniel Gigiano ratings; Daniel Gigiano work.