Can I be cited twice for the same offense and be made to plead guilty to the same offense twice, just in different jurisdictions?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I be cited twice for the same offense and be made to plead guilty to the same offense twice, just in different jurisdictions?

I was stopped on 11/01 at 8:30 in the morning for my car not being properly registered by Newport police. I was stopped again on 11/29 by the state police for the same offense. My court date with Newport was 12/12, so I assumed I had up until that date to re-register the car. At the Alderman court date in Newport I pled guilty and paid my fines. However, now I have a second court date on 12/20 with the state which will surely involve more court fees and fines.

Asked on December 13, 2018 under General Practice, Delaware


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

This is a continuing offense: basically, every day you fail to register the car you are driving can be a new offense. Add to that the fact you were ticketed by different jurisdictions (Newport vs. State Police), each of which may cite you independently for an offense, and this is not considered being ticketed twice for the same offense--it is being ticketed by two different governmental units for two different offeses (no registration on 11/01; no registration on 11/29). There really is no way to get the 2nd citation dismissed, unless the prosecutor, when you discuss it with him on the 2nd court date, decides voluntarily to be merciful and dismiss the 2nd ticket.

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