Separate Sovereigns Doctrine

Separate Sovereignty Doctrine

The Separate Sovereignty doctrine (also referred to as the Dual Sovereignty doctrine) is a legal rule that allows the federal government and the state government to prosecute an individual for an act that is a crime in both state and federal jurisdictions without violating a persons' Fifth Amendment's protection against Double Jeopardy.

The theory behind the Separate Sovereign doctrine was that the laws of both the state and federal governments, as two sovereigns, were applicable, the same act produced two crimes, and consequently a person could not be placed in jeopardy for the same crime.

  • Here is an example: A bank robbery is both a federal crime and a state crime and thus can be prosecuted by both the federal and state government. It is generally up to the state or federal prosecutors to decide which court will handle each case. Rarely will an individual be charged, convicted, and sentenced for the same crime in both state and federal courts. See Double Jeopardy.
  • ABA
  • BAR
  • CACI
  • Maba Logo
  • super lawyer

Client Reviews

  • God Bless you Stephen, wish you all the successes in life.

    “Stephen is a great contact and extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I am glad that I was his client in the past. Top lawyer, top man. God Bless you Stephen, wish you all the successes in life.”

  • Don't hesitate to contact them!

    “I was referred to this group of Attorneys. I was started with a low cost made arrangements. My case had to do with assault allegations. The case was dismissed they helped me not to loose my daughter to the system.”

Contact Our Firm Today

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter a message.