Can you be charged in two different states for a related crime? 33 Answers as of July 04, 2013

My friend's husband is charged with theft in in one state. Will he be charged in another state also for possession of stolen property. He is thinking of taking a plea, but is afraid he will be charged in the other state also. Will this happen?

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Law Office of Cotter C. Conway
Law Office of Cotter C. Conway | Cotter C. Conway
It is very possible to be charged in more than one jurisdiction for related criminal behavior. Thus, if an individual commits a theft in one state but then is arrested for possession of stolen property in another state, he can be charged for both related offenses. Most states will cooperate in the prosecution but any plea negotiation should seek to package the two charges into one offense so he is not subjected to two convictions with two punishments.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/15/2011
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux | Scott Tibbedeaux
It depends on whether the stolen items were brought into the other state and he was caught in the other state with these items. Each state can pursue each case depending on the circumstances and facts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/19/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
That may depend on the law of the other state so he should hire a ny attorney and consult an attorney in the other state.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/19/2011
Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi
Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi | Rodney Nosratabadi
Depending on how the offenses are alleged to have occurred, he may be protected by "Double Jeopardy". In other words, he may not be punished for the same crime if has already either been acquitted of those charges or served a sentence for the same.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/12/2011
Law Office of Andrew Subin
Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
He could be charged with theft in one state and PSP in the other state.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/12/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    Yes he can be charged. He should also watch out for any charges the Feds can think up because hisa crime was Interstate, which is the underlyhing basis for Federal law in the first place. His admission that he possessed stolen property is not necessarily evidence of the theft. But it can be and I will not say it won't. But if he cuts a deal, he needs to be working on what happens in the other state before he takes a plea. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    It is possible that a person can be accused in two different states for related crimes. IF a person commited one crime in one state and another in another state both states can prosecute him. My suggestion is that you consult with lawyers in both states before accepting any plea bargain or you may later regret it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    It is possible to be charged in two jurisdictions for different and separate crimes. If one steals and item in state A he can be charged with theft. If the stolen item is transported to state B, he can be charged with possession of stolen property in state B.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I strongly advise to obtain a lawyer to assist you with this matter. If you need specific legal advice, you should consult privately with an attorney. This answer does not contain specific legal advice. Ultimately, whether the police investigate and whether the prosecutor will issue charges is a matter of their particular policies and whether, in their view, pursuing the matter would be worth the time and expense. Obviously, if a person is already serving a sentence in particular state or if it's a state/federal issue, the other prosecuting authority may be less inclined to spend the considerable amount of money and time involved for a similar result. For example, a notable portion of pending state-related charges tend to get dismissed if a person is looking at more serious federal charges for similar conduct. However, ultimately, it's a matter of local policies and these particular issues are examined on a case-by-case basis.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can be charged in two states for the same crime or different crimes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Yes it can. Under these circumstances it is often better to work out a deal involving all jurisdictions at the same time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You could be charged in different states if the crime actually occurred in each state. To be charged with a crime, the government must alleged the crime occurred in the specific jurisdiction where it was charged. A person could be charged with theft in one state and also possession of stolen property in another if the facts were alleged properly.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    If the property is stolen, a person can be charged for possession of stolen property, even if the theft occurred in another state.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    If he is apprehended in another state with items that can be proven to be stolen property then he may face additional charges in a new state. If he has been offered a plea deal, then presumably he will also be required to turn over any stolen property.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    It depends on what the law is in the state where he possessed the stolen property.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you retain a criminal defense attorney in your area to advise you as to all your rights and options. Without knowing all the facts, it is difficult to know how realistic the jeopardy is in your situation, and possible remedies exist, but you should discuss options with your lawyer. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Each state in which a crime is committed can bring criminal charges. He should seek the advise of an attorney as to what his rights are and possible consequences are.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    It could. He should make sure that either he get an attorney for both States or let the attorney in each State know what is happening so they can coordinate efforts.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    Hard to say if he will be charged in both states but it is possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    You can be charged with each and every crime committed, in whatever jurisdiction it happened, just not the same crime, since it cant happen in two places at once. A little free advice: exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative', either during initial contact, questioning, interview or interrogation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    He could be charged in two states if he possessed the items in both states. However, it is more likely to that he will only be prosecuted in the state in which he was arrested with the items (or he pawned them or whatever caused him to be arrested.)
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    Yes. Both states have their interests to avenge, the theft in one, and the possession of stolen property in the other. Sometimes one will not press forward if the other has, but that was not the question.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates | George Woodworth
    He may indeed find himself charged with a crime in two different states. The act of taking property that doesn't belong to you is the crime of theft. The act of knowingly keeping & possessing such property is a separate crime that could be charged in a different state. Thus, the same stolen item(s) can be the subject of separate crimes. For appropriate help tell him to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney who handles criminal matters in different states.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Can you be charged in two different states for a related crime? Yes He is thinking of taking a plea, but is afraid he will be charged in the other state also. Will this happen? Quite possibly.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Your husband's friend can be charged in one state for stealing property and another state for possessing stolen property. What the friend needs to do is contact the other state and get them to drop their charges in exchange for his guilty plea to theft.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    It is possible, though unlikely. If you have an attorney discuss your concerns with him.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It is possible. The theft could occur in what state and if he goes to another state he could be charged with being in possession of stolen property. He definitely needs to speak to an attorney before he accepts any offers or pleads to anything. If he pleads to the theft in State A, then that can be used against him for the possession of stolen property charge in State B. Seek an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. So long as there is jurisdiction in that State and the crime is not identical, charges may occur in two states.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Can happen, probably will not happen. the theft occurred in jurisdiction does not control receipt of stolen property in another.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Hello - This can happen. Best advice is to have your lawyer work out a deal between states in which one prosecutor agrees not to press charges if there is a plea bargain in other state.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    I would need to know more information to give you a better idea of what may happen. How old is the case? If he has already been charged and has gotten a plea deal then chances are there is no real reason to think he will have another charge in another state. He should talk to his attorney about making that part of his current plea.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    It's possible. He should talk to attorneys in both states, and maybe try to arrange for a plea bargain covering all possible charges. Generally, a person can only be tried once for one offense. A second trial would violate the Double Jeopardy Clause. But double jeopardy is mostly about what the prosecutor can do. If the facts support charges from multiple independent prosecutors (from different states, or from a state and the federal government), the Double Jeopardy clause doesn't really apply. All the prosecutors from one state derive their power from the state constitution, and thus are not independent of each other, but that's not true for multiple states and the federal government.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/7/2011
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