Skip to main content

Hello. I'm currently being prosecuted for a gun possession in Massachusetts without a firearm identification card. Now it seems like the federal prosecutor also wants to bring charges for the same thing based on the same arrest. Isn't that illegal because I am already being tried by a state court in MA?

 
Share this with your friends

Double Jeopardy in MA

In the case of U.S. v. Halper, 490 U.S. 435, 440 (1989), the United States Supreme court stated that "the Double Jeopardy Clause protects against three distinct abuses: [1] a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal; [2] a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction; and [3] multiple punishments for the same offense.  However, the clause does not typically apply when the federal government attempts to prosecute a defendant for a separate federal crime, even if that crime is similar to the state crime that the defendant has been tried for or convicted of at the state level, and even if the second prosecution is based on the same underlying illegal conduct. 

 

This sounds like a very serious offense.  Penalties for violations of federal gun crimes can be stiff indeed.  If you do not already have one, contact a MA criminal defense attorney now.  He or she can give you a better of understanding of whether the federal prosecution will jeopardize your rights and, if not, how you should defend yourself against the charges.  Good luck.

 

Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Most offer FREE Consultations
Connect with The Forum
facebook google twitter linkedin