my name is heather, my question is how is the habitual law legal,isnt it basicly the same as double jeoperdy.
1 Answer from Attorneys
No, it is not the same as double jeopardy. Double jeopardy can occur when someone is tried twice for the same offense or punished twice for the same basic offense. However, if a man robs a bank today and a different one tomorrow, he can be prosecuted and punished for each robbery. Same would be true if the man robbed someone else and then pistol whipped the victim. The criminal can be prosecuted for both robbery and pistol whipping the victim.
The NC habitual felon law is kind of like the three-strikes law. If a person has committed 3 felonies then he can be prosecuted as a habitual felon. This really only means that the defendant convicted of being an habitual felon, when he is sentenced on the fourth or any subsequent felony, qualifies for more of an aggravated/higher sentence.
However, criminal law is not my area of expertise any longer. Perhaps another criminal lawyer will have further insight.
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