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

Avondale, AZ |
Filed under: Criminal defense

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

Posted

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 be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions & Answers forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. I am only licensed in the States of California and New York and the District of Columbia

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Posted

Mr. Solis is spot on.

Attorney David Kephart is an experienced Criminal Defense Trial Attorney and Jury Consultant. He is the recipient of the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice President's Award and the recipient of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Commendation for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. His response to your question is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship, and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.

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Posted

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 information and a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone a specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice that the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professional and competent legal advice by a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide competent professional opinion, however, the law and its applications may change frequently and vary greatly from other U.S. jurisdictions and locales. Therefore, any information and opinions stated above are general in nature, and may not apply to specific factual or legal circumstances related to one's current legal issues. Contact an experienced lawyer admitted to practice in your State under an attorney-client privilege to further receive a comprehensive legal before making an educated decision about your particular legal issue. If you have further inquiries you may contact: Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko 1021 West Adams, 102, Chicago, Illinois 60607 773-562-8602 http://alexanderivakhnenko.com

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Posted

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

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