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Defendant Contends Double Jeopardy in Theft Case


Magnus Thorbenson was robbed by John Williams, also known as Larry Johnson, with another person. They held a knife to him as he arrived at Betty Hill’s apartment in Bronx. Mr. Thorbenson said they took his car keys, and that he saw them take off with his vehicle. A New York Criminal Lawyer found out that six days later Mr. Williams and his brother were caught in Mr. Thorbenson’s car. Both were charged with possession of a stolen property in New York County. Because of the information provided by Mr. Thorbenson and Ms. Hill, the police was able to ascertain that the two were suspects in the robbery which occurred in Bronx.

The Bronx police was notified by the New York County Assistant District attorney that they will be going for an indictment in New York County and will keep then updated in the progress. As for the Bronx police, they had Mr. Thorbenson’s photographic identification of Mr. Williams. He was then charged with the robbery and arrested within a few days of the filing said a New York Petit Larceny Lawyer.

Less than two months after his arrest and arraignment in Bronx County, the New York County District Attorney had agreed to charge him with a misdemeanor. Mr. Williams plead guilty to this and was sentenced to ninety-day imprisonment. The New York County District Attorney did not ask for adjournment to give the Bronx District Attorney a chance to get an indictment, according to a New York Possession of Stolen Property Lawyer.

Mr. Williams was placed in a line up in Bronx to be identified for the robbery. He asked for the case to be dismissed because of double jeopardy. A New York Robbery Lawyer said this protects a person from being tried multiple times for one act of crime. In this case, according to the Supreme Court, it is the act of stealing the car. Mr. Williams was already convicted of having possession of the stolen vehicle that rose from him having stolen it. If there was a difference in the aspect of the crime, it could still be tried, but both charges meant control over the car was taken without permission. The prosecution argues New York County did not have jurisdiction with the robbery committed. The court said, they knew of the case in Bronx and should have given the jurisdiction for both to Bronx, as it was the heavier crime. The ruling would have been different if New York County did not have knowledge of the prosecution in Bronx. The case was dismissed.

A case is judged by its own merit, but the law also protects a person from being prosecuted for the same crime more than once and be sentenced in addition to the first one. The prosecution cannot choose to charge with the lesser crime and charge with the bigger when one when evidence is available. There should be a different aspect presented.

If you have been convicted of a crime and in relation to that crime, you are charged again, you may have the jeopardy protection. Stephen Bilkis and Associates have experienced lawyers who can give you your options and go through with the process with you. We have offices all over New York and Long Island to serve you. They are in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan, New York. In Long Island, the offices are in Suffolk County and Nassau County and Westchester County. Call us now at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW for legal assistance and a free consultation.

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