Can I be charged by both the State and the Federal government for the same crime?
So long as the offense constitutes both a State Court and a Federal Court crime, not only can you be charged by both the State and the Feds for the same criminal episode, but, worse still, you can be found guilty in both, sentenced in both and then ordered to serve what will amount to consecutive time for the very same criminal act.
Take bank robbery for instance. All 50 States have laws prohibiting robbing banks, and so does the federal government. So if you get popped for a bank robbery it is conceivable that you could be dually prosecuted, dually convicted and dually punished. And no, this is not double jeopardy.
The reason that this is not double jeopardy is because each State and the Feds are independent sovereigns. Even though all 50 States, and all persons inside of each of those 50 States, are bound to follow federal law, each of the 50 States is also legally considered to be it’s own sovereign, and each therefore has it’s own sets of laws which bind everyone in that given State’s borders. So where a criminal act constitutes both a State and a Federal crime, yes you can be held accountable for that offense in both the State and Federal systems.
And if that’s not bad enough think about this: Neither the State nor the Feds are bound to honor the other’s sentence. So if you got 10 years in State court for bank robbery and then got 20 in federal court for the same bank robbery you could wind up serving 30 years.
At Michael A. Haber, PA “it’s all about reasonable doubt”!
Please note that no attorney-client relationship with either Michael A. Haber, PA or Michael A. Haber, Esq. exists as a result of your watching this Webisode series. Further any and all information which is both contained in and may be construed from this Webisode series is generic in nature and should only be considered as informational and not as actual legal advise in any specific case. Should you wish to seek actual legal advise then please feel free to contact Michael A. Haber, Esq. as follows:
Office Phone: 305-381-8686
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-SHARK-8-1
Cellular Phone / Text: 305-798-2220
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