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Photo of Attorneys at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC

Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Double Jeopardy in Denver Courts and Criminal Cases

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2017 | Courts |

The Constitutional Law of Double Jeopardy in Denver Courts

Double Jeopardy is a rule of law which prevents a person from being charged twice in courts for the same offense. Without this rule, Denver government could keep charging you over and over again until they obtained a conviction. It provides finality to a very important matter: the government trying to take away your freedom. If a person is voted guilty or not guilty by a jury, the matter is put to rest once and for all. A jury deadlock can still result in another trial, because no final verdict was obtained. Some Rules of Jeopardy.

Double Jeopardy Under the United States Constitution in Arapahoe County, Colorado

The source of our protection from Double Jeopardy comes from the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, where we all benefit from the words preventing “twice being put in jeopardy of life or limb.” Under this law, all government levels in Arapahoe County get just one opportunity to convict you by courts or a jury trial. In Colorado Courts, they have six months under speedy trial law, regardless of whether they can’t locate a key witness or prepare their case in time. We have seen abuses of this law by District Attorneys who will dismiss charges and hope to refile charges later.

Exceptions to Double Jeopardy in Golden, Jefferson County and at a Federal level

There are some limited circumstances which may look like exceptions to Double Jeopardy. First, different jurisdictions with different statutes of limitation, are each entitled to charge you, regardless of the outcome in other jurisdictions. This means that the City of Golden can charge you if you are thought to have violated one of their laws. Next, Jefferson County can charge you for a violation of a state law from the same conduct. Finally, the federal government can then charge you. None of these multiple filings in courts legally offend the notion of Double Jeopardy.

Double Jeopardy Exceptions in Douglas County, Colorado and Adams County, Colorado

If someone was acquitted, and it was later found that they caused the acquittal by conduct similar to fraud, or by kidnapping a witness until the trial was over, Double Jeopardy would not attach. Another exception would be with a jury deadlock, hung jury or similar mistrial where the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.

When Does Jeopardy Attach in Colorado State Courts?

In most cases, Jeopardy is said to have “attached” once a jury is sworn in. When your trial is to be decided by a judge, it attaches after the first witness takes the stand to testify.

Fifth Amendment law can be a complicated legal principle, needing the full attention of a criminal attorney. Don’t take your freedom for granted. Call one of our full-time criminal defense lawyers at 303-731-0719 for a consultation about your case. Together, we can protect your future.