Most people know about double jeopardy and how it affects the law. Under double jeopardy, if you face charges of a crime in Missouri, go to trial the jury finds you not guilty, then Missouri cannot charge you with the same crime twice. Even if you confess to the crime or if later evidence proves that you committed the crime, the state cannot charge you. What does this mean for the federal government? If you violate a state and federal law, can both entities charge you with the same crime? 

According to CNN, the Supreme Court determined that you can face charges in the state and federal court. The idea behind this decision is that the state and federal governments are separate sovereigns. Of course, this only counts for crimes that the federal and state governments have jurisdiction over.  For instance, if you cross state lines while committing a crime, the federal or state government may file charges. In addition, if you face charges in one state and the crime continues into another, then that state also has jurisdiction. If you commit crimes on federal property, then you may face charges from both. 

In some instances, the federal and state prosecutors may pursue separate actions. There are some crimes where state and federal government overlap. In most cases, if you face charges of a crime, you do not have to worry about two convictions or a second trial after you win. If a federal jury finds you not guilty, the state can file the same charges against you. 

None of the above is intended to be legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.