Criminal: LAY V . COM. (COA; 6/2/2006)

CRIMINAL: Double Jeopardy
DATE: 6/2/2006

The double jeopardy clause prohibits a defendant’s conviction for multiple offenses, arising out of a single course of conduct, where one offense is included within the other as "established by proof of the same or less than all the facts required to establish the commission of the offense charged."  We are not persuaded by Lay’s contention that the two charges against him violated double jeopardy because each required a finding that he was DUI.  Instead, the mere fact of operating the vehicle while his license was suspended for DUI was sufficient to support the suspended license conviction, and the issue of whether he was DUI at the time of the offense went only to the enhanced penalties applicable to repeat offenders.  Because DUI is not an element of the charge of operating a motor vehicle on a license suspended for DUI, and because operating a motor vehicle on a suspended license is not an element of DUI, it follows that each charge requires "proof of an additional fact which the other" does not require, and that double jeopardy was not violated below.

CA affirmed Lay’s sentence following guilty pleas to driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), third offense, and operating a motor vehicle while his license was suspended for DUI.  CA rejected Defendant’s contention that double jeopardy was violated when he was sentenced for both DUI, third offense, and the suspended license charge, enhanced by the fact that the charge was a second offense which occurred while he was DUI.

Digested by Scott Byrd

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