Double Jeopardy


Double Jeopardy Attorney Representing Clients in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Throughout Michigan Accused of Drug Crimes

Have you been unfairly charged again for a drug offense you were charged with previously? Double jeopardy is a term that is often misunderstood; although no individual is supposed to be charged with the same crime once he or she has been acquitted or even convicted, it can happen. At Grabel & Associates, our Michigan drug crime attorneys work vigorously to ensure that those who have been charged with a drug crime and who have been acquitted of the crime or convicted do not face charges for the same offense a second time.

What is Double Jeopardy?

Essentially, double jeopardy is a clause, which guarantees that an individual will not be tried more than once for the same offense or crime in a single jurisdiction. For example, if you have been tried for a drug crime in the state of Michigan, you cannot be tried for the same offense again based on the same facts. However, the double jeopardy clause does not protect you from being tried for the same offense in a different state, or by the federal government.

There are three ways that double jeopardy protects individuals in Michigan who have already been tried for a drug crime:

  • Individuals cannot be prosecuted a second time following a conviction for the same offense
  • Individuals cannot be prosecuted a second time following an acquittal for the same offense
  • Individuals may not receive multiple punishments for the same offense

The United States Constitution's Fifth Amendment is imposed upon all states in the U.S. and says:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb ; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

However, as usual there are exceptions to every law when it comes to drug crimes, or any criminal activity. Exceptions to the double jeopardy clause include:

  • An individual may not be criminally prosecuted more than once based on the same crime, and the facts of that crime. However, even if an individual is acquitted in a criminal case, a civil suit may be brought against that individual.
  • If the elements of each crime are different or unique, an individual may be tried in a criminal case based on the same facts.
  • If some aspect of the criminal conduct an individual is accused of violated both a state and federal law, that individual may be tried by both the state and federal governments for the same crime, based on the same facts.

When Does the Rule of Double Jeopardy Apply?

When you are tried for a drug offense in the same jurisdiction and based on the exact same facts as a previous trial, the double jeopardy rule may apply if the trial is for the same criminal offense, and not another incident. However, when an individual commits multiple incidences or offenses in a single crime (such as drug possession, felony possession of a firearm, assault), each of the offenses or incidents may be charged separately, and double jeopardy does not apply.

Contact a Talented Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer at Once

Double jeopardy is one of those areas of the law that can be complex and confusing. The simple fact is that in the state of Michigan, you cannot be prosecuted for the exact same drug crime based on the same exact facts if you have already been either acquitted or convicted of that offense.

Individuals who feel they are being prosecuted again for a crime they have already been tried for should consult with a skilled and aggressive Michigan drug crimes attorney right away. At Grabel & Associates we will help you understand what is often a complicated legal system, and provide you with unparalleled legal guidance and representation.

We are available to our clients 24/7, so call our toll-free number now at 1-800-342-7896 for a free evaluation of your case. Contact us online.


With Attorney's statewide, Grabel & Associates defend people accused of criminal charges throughout the state of Michigan including the communities of Lansing, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon, Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Pinconning, Kalamazoo, Mount Pleasant, Bay City, Saginaw, Brant, Traverse City, Ludington, Allegan, Hillsdale, Lapeer, Port Huron, Ann Arbor, and Detroit.