Two Tips For Dealing With Multiple-Jurisdiction Criminal Prosecution
Although the Constitution prohibits courts from prosecuting people for the same crime after they've been acquitted, one exception to this rule is when the commission of the crime spans multiple jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction involved can bring charges against the defendant, which may result in extending time in jail, higher fines, and other consequences. If you find yourself being prosecuted for the same crime in more than one jurisdiction, here are a couple of tips for handling the situation.
Find a Lawyer Licensed to Practice in All States
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to find an attorney who is licensed to practice in all the jurisdictions that have filed charges against you. This will make things easier in a number of ways. It'll save time because you won't have to hire multiple attorneys and get them all up to speed on your case. Hiring a multi-jurisdiction lawyer will likely cost less too, though you may still have to pay the person's travel expenses.
Unfortunately, it takes quite a bit of time, effort, and money to get licensed to practice in multiple states, so it may be challenging finding an attorney who can step into this role. An alternative option is to work with a law firm that has offices in multiple states. Since they are employed at the same company, the lawyers representing you in each jurisdiction can confer and share information with each other to provide you with the best defense possible in every court.
It may take a while to find the right candidate, so start searching as soon as possible.
Arrange for Bail As Quickly as Possible
The second thing you'll want to do is arrange for and pay bail in every state where you're being charged, not just the jurisdiction where you currently reside. Since the courts are operating as separate entities, there's a good possibility each will order you to pay bail, especially if you're not a resident in the state where you're facing charges.
Make arrangements for your release as soon as possible; otherwise, you may end up being picked up and thrown in jail in the state where bail hasn't been paid. If you're not able to pay the court directly, an attorney can help you make contact with a bail bondsman in the relevant jurisdictions who will help you post bail so you can remain free to live your life while your cases are making the way through the court system.
For more tips on dealing with charges in multiple districts, contact a criminal defense attorney from a firm like Funderburk and Lane.