Double Jeopardy

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Double Jeopardy

Postby estefanchanning » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:11 pm

On May 1, a car driven by the defendant struck a pedestrian. On July 1, with regard to this incident, the defendant pleaded guilty to reckless driving (a misdemeanor) and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. She served the sentence and paid the fine. The following year, on April 1, the pedestrian died as a result of the injuries she suffered in the accident. There is a three-year statue of limitations for manslaughter in this jurisdiction.

Two years and 11 months after the pedestrian's death, on March 1, a grand jury indicted the defendant on a charge of manslaughter of the pedestrian. On May 15, trial had not begun and the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the ground of double jeopardy in that her conviction of reckless driving arose out of the same incident, and that the statute of limitations for manslaughter had run.

The defendant's motion should be:

A-granted only on double jeopardy grounds.
B-granted only on statute of limitations grounds.
C-granted on either double jeopardy grounds or statute of limitations grounds.
D-denied on both grounds.

[+] Spoiler
D is correct. The charge of manslaughter has additional elements that reckless driving does not, namely the causing of the death of another. Therefore, reckless driving is not a lesser included offense of manslaughter. The state may properly charge the defendant with the offense of manslaughter after the pedestrian died as a result of the accident, without it being a violation of the defendant's rights under the double jeopardy clause. The death of the pedestrian, which occurred one year after the accident, was the final element of the offense of manslaughter to occur. The state had 3 years from that date to charge the offense. Because the defendant was indicted at two years and 11 months after the death, the state was within the statute of limitations in charging her with manslaughter. The defendant's motion to dismiss on that ground should also be denied.

A is incorrect. The defendant, when she pleaded guilty to reckless driving, was not put in jeopardy for the later death of the pedestrian, which was the basis for the manslaughter charge.

B is incorrect. The defendant was indicted within the three-year statute of limitations from the date of the pedestrian's death.

C is incorrect. For both of the reasons stated above. The defendant's motion to dismiss the manslaughter charge should be denied on both grounds.

Am I missing something, or is this explanation stupid? Double jeopardy has not even attached for us to even delve into the "same offense" analysis. The defendant took a guilty plea to the reckless driving offense, so even if the prosecution wanted to charge D with a "same offense," they can because DJ is not implicated.

Am I wrong? I got this question right, but I think their explanation is wrong.

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Re: Double Jeopardy

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:42 pm


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Re: Double Jeopardy

Postby nixy » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:47 am

Yeah, pleading guilty doesn't mean jeopardy hasn't attached, where judgment has entered and the conviction is final. If the prosecution brought the manslaughter charge after the defendant had pled but before sentencing (before judgment/conviction) then you could argue jeopardy hasn't attached, but it's clearly attached in this scenario. So the same offense analysis is pertinent.


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Re: Double Jeopardy

Postby siriuslysaucy422 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:17 am

DJ isn't an issue because each offense requires proof of an element that the other does not.

Also, DJ on the reckless driving had attached because the defendant had to first be charged with reckless driving in order to plead guilty.

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