Can you get individual citations at local and state levels for a single incident?

UPDATED: Oct 5, 2014

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Can you get individual citations at local and state levels for a single incident?

I have a issue where one of my dogs squeezed out the back door, followed by the other, while I was trying to wrangle the first. The first dog sniffed a dog walking the neighborhood, it nipped and she bit it back. I now have 2 citations to appear in court for 2 different dogs vicious attack, because both were present. Now 1 of the citations is checked local ordinance violation and 1 is checked state law. Neither really qualify as state law vicious dogs due to screening requirements not conducted by officials and lack of damage. Possibly 1 is a borderline “vicious dog” in local ordinance due to there was arguable provocation. Is there a sort of double jeopardy dilemma if argued?

Asked on October 5, 2014 under Criminal Law, Georgia


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This is not double jeopardy because the state and local governments are separate sovereignties which means that they have separate statutes, laws, etc. regarding this matter.  Since they are separate sovereignties, each can charge you for the violation without it being double jeopardy. Since state and local are separate, although the charges may appear to be similar, they are separate and you are not being charged twice for the same offense.

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