Can I be charged with the same offense and punished again for this offense if it occurred in 2 different counties?

About 2 years ago, I resisted arrest/detention in a motor vehicle. It started in one county and ended in the next county over. Both counties charged me with the offense. I went back and forth between counties (both have the same judge and DA). A court date was set out of the bigger county and the one in which I was caught. I was found guilty of “Evading Arrest/ Detention in a Motor Vehicle”. I served 60 days shock probation and am currently on probation for the charge. Now I have received a letter saying that a hearing date has been set for the second county for this month. Can I be Charged with the same offense again, and punished again for this offense?

Asked on December 2, 2013 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Double jeopardy (being tried twice for the same offense) is prohibited by the Constitution; however, an exception is being tried by separate sovereignties (different governmental entities) such as state and federal can both charge a person with what appears to be the same offense.  In your case, where there are charges by separate counties, the counties could argue that they have separate governments, laws, etc. and therefore double jeopardy is not applicable.  Also, if the counties, due to their laws have different definitions (elements) for the crime with which you are charged, the differences between the county laws will be construed as separate charges where there is no double jeopardy.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.