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Double jeopardy isn't allowed in criminal cases

The United States Constitution provides specific protections for people in this country. One of these protections is that you aren't to be subjected to double jeopardy. This is a confusing principle for some people; however, if you are facing court proceedings, you should remember a few basic points.

The right to avoid double jeopardy only applies to criminal proceedings. This means that you can't face more than one set of charges for a specific incident. It doesn't preclude you from facing the same charges if you have another similar incident. For example, you can face a set of criminal charges for an incident in January that led to you being found in possession of drugs and paraphernalia. Once that case is resolved, you can't face charges for the January incident. If you are again found in possession of drugs and paraphernalia in March, you can face a new set of charges for that incident.

Some criminal cases come with penalties that don't go through the criminal court system. You can face these and still have a criminal case. Some charges, such as drunk driving, have administrative penalties on top of the criminal penalties. There is also the chance that you will face a civil case based on the matter that lands you in criminal court.

It is difficult to think about having to go through more than one proceeding for one criminal act. When this is necessary, you need to look at all of the possible defense strategies that you might employ so you can make decisions based on what you feel is in your best interests.

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