Double Jeopardy Definition

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What Is the Definition of Double Jeopardy?

The term double jeopardy is a criminal law term that derives from the 5th Amendment of the Constitution. Basically, double jeopardy laws protect a person from being punished for the same charges twice. For instance, if a person was already tried and convicted for a petty theft crime, they are not allowed to be tried again for that same crime. However, they can still be charged for subsequent crimes in the future.

What Is a Criminal Retrial?

A criminal retrial is where the judge decides that certain issues in the criminal case need to be reviewed again. This usually occurs if there are serious errors or issues with the law in the previous trial. Attorney misconduct is also a grounds for retrial. In most cases, the error in the case must have resulted in the verdict being reversed in order for there to be a retrial.

Criminal retrials are rarely issued by a court, mostly because there is a danger that the defendant’s rights against double jeopardy will be violated. A general rule of thumb is that once a defendant is found not guilty, a retrial will not be issued unless there are serious legal issues at stake, such as a key witnessing falling ill.

What Is a Criminal Appeal?

A criminal appeal is where the defendant requests the court to review certain matters leading to their conviction. Appeals are generally not thought of as violating double jeopardy laws, since it is the defendant who is requesting the second review. Also, an appeal is not the same as a complete retrial, since in an appeal, only one or a few specific issues are being reviewed. Also, in an appeal, the facts from the lower court are set and are not re-argued; only issues of law are reviewed in an appeal.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with Double Jeopardy Laws?

Double jeopardy laws can be complicated, and they are often intertwined with other legal issues like appeals or retrials. You may need the assistance of a lawyer for help when it comes to double jeopardy laws and other criminal law matters. It’s important the you understand your rights and that you ensure that your rights are being protected. Your attorney can provide assistance and advice for your case, and can also represent you if you need to appear before a judge.

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Last Modified: 01-20-2014 12:26 PM PST

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