If someone is accused of a crime, pleads not guilty and charges are dismissed, can they later be charged with the same crime?

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If someone is accused of a crime, pleads not guilty and charges are dismissed, can they later be charged with the same crime?

Isn’t this double jeopardy?

Asked on April 22, 2011 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No it is not.  Double jeopardy is a procedural defense that probibits a defendant from being tried again on the same (or similar charges) following an acquittal or conviction.  Here, there was neither an acquittal or conviction since there was no trial or plea since the charges were dropped.  Therefore these same (or similar) charges can be brought at a later date.  The only prohibition would be if the statute of limitations runs out.  This is the time period in which charges are allowed to be filed.  Once the statute has run (and the time period involved varies depending on the crime), no charges can be filed.  In other words, the prosecutor is legally barred from re-filing the dismissed charges (or similar charges for the same crime).


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