If my daughter has been charged for uttering and possession of a controlled substance but another state is charging her with the same offense, is this double jeopardy?

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If my daughter has been charged for uttering and possession of a controlled substance but another state is charging her with the same offense, is this double jeopardy?

She recieved a letter in the mail yesterday that another state wants to charge her with the same offense on a different day. My daughter suffers from schitophrenia and retorgrade amnesia. The amnesia occurred as a result of ECT therapy after these incidents. She spent 6 months in a mental hospital after these incidents. Can I get them to prosecute in 1 state instead of 2? Are any mental health protections?

Asked on July 7, 2015 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your daughter being charged by separate states is not double jeopardy because each state is a separate sovereignty with its own laws and also the fact that the incidents occurred on different days means each occurrence is a separate crime.  The states are not going to prosecute in one state because separate crimes occurred on separate days in different states.

The mental health defense (schizophrenia) should be asserted to show that your daughter's mental state precluded her from having the specific intent to forge a document required for uttering.

As for the possession charge, the mental health defense (schizophrenia) should be asserted, but that is a weaker defense than in the case of uttering because possession does not require a specific intent.


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