A southern Minnesota county bowed out and dismissed its fourth degree drug case after we filed a motion in district court accusing the state of violating double jeopardy.
Earlier this year, two neighboring southern Minnesota counties charged my client with “Controlled Substance Crime in the Fourth Degree” based on a single criminal investigation. In a motion filed with the district court, we argued, “Dual prosecution originating from the same alleged criminal transaction violates the Double Jeopardy Clause of both the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, § 7 of the Minnesota Constitution.”
In other words, the State of Minnesota erroneously charged my client with the same crimes resulting from the same investigation conducted by the same law enforcement agency. This, we argued, violated both the United States and Minnesota Constitutions. The State agreed and promptly dismissed its drug case entirely.
This situation represents the importance of defense work in the criminal justice system. Without our intervention, the State would have subjected the defendant to two separate prosecutions–a waste of time and resources for both my client and the taxpayers.