Double Jeopardy and Lesser Included Offenses

| Feb 11, 2011 | Criminal Defense |

In Amador v. State, the Texas Criminal Appeals Court heard a case where the appellant pled guilty to indecent exposure and was sentenced to 120 days confinement.  Subsequently, the State indicted him for two counts of the third degree felony of indecency with a child by exposure.  The trial court rejected his pretrial writ that asserted double jeopardy and the court of appeals appealed.

The Texas Criminal Appeals Court reversed and remanded holding that double jeopardy prohibits the State from obtaining a conviction for an offense if the defendant has previously been convicted of a lesser-included offense of that offense.  The Double Jeopardy Clause of the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects a citizen accused against such prosecutions.