Why does it seem I'm being punished for the same crime twice?

Asked 11 months ago - Avondale, AZ

8 years ago I committed a felony in Texas and did a year in prison for it. Recently i have been charged with a felony in Arizona along with another person. The plea they gave them was a year unsupervised probation but they want to give me a year in jail because of my history. Isn't this just a simple way of giving me time for the same crime twice? Otherwise there it's no reason not to give me the same deal as the other person who has the exact same charges.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Anthony Michael Solis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It may seem like that, but it's certainly not double punishment or double jeopardy. As a society, all states and the federal government treat people with criminal history more harshly. People want those with criminal history to obey the law and generally people with no criminal past get some break for having a clean record. Criminal priors are routinely used to enhance charges, enhance sentences and are always a factor in charging and plea bargaining decisions. In short, for good reason people with criminal histories are treated differently because they should have learned from their prior punishment. If they didn't, they're going to get hit harder this time to hope that inspires conformity with the law.

    No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT... more
  2. David Kephart

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Solis is spot on.

    Attorney David Kephart is an experienced Criminal Defense Trial Attorney and Jury Consultant. He is the recipient... more
  3. John Eugene Kelly

    Contributor Level 8

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are being punished again for a crime you committed 8 years ago. However, the law does not see it that way. As the others have said, the prosecutors have the discretion to offer a plea based on your criminal history, and the statues can punish you for prior convictions after trial.

    John Kelly
    Kelly Law Team
    602-283-4122

  4. Alexander M. Ivakhnenko

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In short, no, it is not the same punishment. Here is how:
    "8 years ago I committed a felony in Texas and did a year in prison for it. "
    Your description indicated that you have become a convicted felon with such history available pre trial to the prosecutors.
    "Recently i have been charged with a felony in Arizona along with another person. The plea they gave them was a year unsupervised probation but they want to give me a year in jail because of my history."
    I do not know, what 'they" have on their criminal history, yet, if what you stated is accurate, your criminal history indicates an admissible felony conviction eight years ago.
    " Isn't this just a simple way of giving me time for the same crime twice?"
    No. Eight years ago you were charged and convicted in a separate trial in Texas for a separate legal offense.
    At present, you have been charged in Arizona and face a new fair sentence in a new criminal state case.
    "Otherwise there it's no reason not to give me the same deal as the other person who has the exact same charges."
    You may pose that valid question to your attorney of record who handles your criminal case in Arizona. I bet you a dollar for a doughnut your offer has something to do with your prior criminal history.

    DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general... more

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