If one county has charged me with receiving stolen property and I’ve done been to court, can another county pick up same case and charge me with stealing it?

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If one county has charged me with receiving stolen property and I’ve done been to court, can another county pick up same case and charge me with stealing it?

I went to court and was charge with receiving stolen property. I am now paying all my fines off and court cost for this case. After I went through all this, another county picked up the same case and is charging me with stealing the same property. Can they do this? What should I do?

Asked on April 15, 2012 under Criminal Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to speak with a criminal defense attorney.

If the second county has some additional facts about the conviction for receiving stolen property, the second county could claim that this is a separate offense with which you are being charged.

If that did not happen and the facts the second county has are identical to the receiving stolen property conviction, then what is happening is that the first and second counties are separate sovereignties (separate governments) and therefore they can each bring charges against you for what appears to be the same offense without it being double jeopardy.  Double jeopardy means you can't be tried again for the same crime for which you were convicted. 


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