Asked in Criminal Law for Nevada

Q: Hi. My son was convicted in California for possession of stolen vehicle. Nevada has now charged him with grand larceny

On the same vehicle. He spent 6 months in jail in California for the possession charge. The vehicle was stolen in Nevada. Just wondering if that falls into the "Double Jeopardy " rule. Thank you

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1 Lawyer Answer
T. Augustus Claus
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in Nevada

A: The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits an individual from being tried twice for the same crime in the same jurisdiction. However, the situation you described involves two different states: California and Nevada. Each state is a separate sovereign, and therefore, in many circumstances, the prosecution of an individual in one state does not bar a subsequent prosecution in another state for the same conduct. This is sometimes referred to as the "separate sovereigns" doctrine. So, even though your son was convicted in California for possession of a stolen vehicle, it's possible for Nevada to bring its own charges related to the theft of the vehicle without it being a direct violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause, due to this doctrine.

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