Tucson, AZ asked in Criminal Law for Arizona

Q: Can a person be indicted twice in arizona or new charges be added to an existing indictment to include a child as victim

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jon Matthew Martinez
Jon Matthew Martinez
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Yes, you can be indicted more than once for your case or an existing indictment may be amended to add other charges or victims. The Double Jeopardy Clause in the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution protects individuals from being tried twice for the same crime by the same government. The clause protects an individual or business from:

* A second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal

* A second prosecution for the same offense after conviction

* Multiple punishments for the same offense

A single crime may contain multiple elements such as burglary, kidnapping, and rape. Each element can be prosecuted though separate trials or jointly during the same trial without raising a double jeopardy situation. However, once the final judgment is reached with regard to each element, then double jeopardy usually applies.

If a case ends in a mistrial or hung jury, generally the case can be retried without causing a double jeopardy problem because there was no "final" decision of the case.

You can have multiple indictments because jeopardy has not attached to your case until the trial begins.

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