Is it double jeopardy to be prosecuted by state and federal prosecutors for the same crime?

Unfortunately, no.

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects people from being “subject to the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” Many people are familiar with this right and know that, for instance, once someone is found not guilty of a certain offense in state court, the state government cannot prosecute them again for the same offense.

However, when alleged conduct violates both state law and federal law, a defendant may be prosecuted by both state and federal prosecutors under the “dual sovereignty” doctrine. Under certain circumstances, the federal government assumes that a state prosecution vindicates federal interests, but not always. In fact, in some cases the federal government decides to pursue a prosecution only after an acquittal in state court.

What this means is that if you are accused of conduct that may violate both state and federal law, you need an attorney who is familiar with both, and can defend you against not only the charges you currently face, but those you may be facing in the future. Brill Legal Group has extensive experience in both state and federal courts and can protect your rights.

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