Double jeopardy is in the constitution to protect those who are prosecuted in the criminal justice system. It's a concept that some people have a passing familiarity with while others don't know a thing about it. At the Law Offices of Kenneth J. Steinberg, P.A., our criminal lawyer in Raleigh, NC, has a wealth of courtroom experience and is going to explore this legal safeguard here.
A simple definition of double jeopardy shows us that it is a defense that prevents an accused individual from being tried again once they've won a valid acquittal. This prevents the State from abusing its power by repeatedly trying an acquitted person until they win a conviction.
This fundamental protection is based on the principle that once someone has faced legal jeopardy through a trial, they can't be put in that situation again. It applies to all felonies, misdemeanors, and juvenile delinquency charges, regardless of the potential sentence that could be imposed.
In addition to protecting an accused from the risk of being jailed, it also helps protect an individual from the financial and emotional toll that would come from repeated court cases. An attorney that has trial experience will always prevent their client from double jeopardy by carefully watching the actions of the prosecution team.