• Wake County DWI Lawyer | Bars to Prosecution
  • July 11, 2013
  • Law Firm: Matheson Law Office PLLC - Raleigh Office
  • In our Criminal Justice system we have certain affirmative defenses that bar him or her from prosecution by the state due to the demonstration of facts that are unrelated to his or her guilt or innocence of the crime charged.  As a Wake County Criminal Defense Lawyer I believe that in our society we must make sure that these rights are understood and applied to insure equal justice for all.  Today I wish to talk about Double jeopardy, ex post facto, lack of jurisdiction, and expiration of the statute of limitations. 

    We begin our discussion with the element of Double Jeopardy, focusing on its core structure and application.  The Double jeopardy clause in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects against a second prosecution for the “same offense” after acquittal, against a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction, and against multiple punishments for the same offense.  However any Criminal Attorney Raleigh will tell you, its important to understand that offenses are not the same offense for double jeopardy purposes if each contains an element that is not in the other.  With that being said, an armed robbery and an assault with a deadly weapon that both occurred at the same time can’t be considered the same offense. 

    We now shift our focus to the ex post facto provisions of the United States and North Carolina constitutions which prohibit the enactment of a statute that makes criminal an act that was not a crime when it was committed; changing the elements of an offense after it was committed and to the defendant’s disadvantage; taking away a act constituting the crime was committed; and altering the rules of evidence to allow less or different testimony than the law required when the crime was committed, in order to convict. 

    Lack of jurisdiction is simply when the State lacks jurisdiction to try a person for a offense, it means that the State has no power or authority to try a person for that offense.  Basically, this means that North Carolina has no jurisdiction to try a person for an offense if the essential acts take place outside the state boarders.

    And finally, a Raleigh DWI Lawyer will tell you that the statue of limitations provides that if a criminal charge is not brought against a defendant within a certain time span, he or she may not be prosecuted at all.  Misdemeanors in our state provide a two-year window from the time the act was committed until the end point from which the state can pursue further action. 

    Disclaimer - Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.