Double jeopardy is a law that stops the government from trying a defendant more than once for the similar or same charges following a legal conviction or acquittal. In addition, the legal theory of double jeopardy protects a person from being subject to successive punishments for the same offense.

California has codified the double jeopardy clause of the United States Constitution through California Penal Code Section 687.

Only certain legal offenses invoke double jeopardy protection. If the claims in a given proceeding do not put a person in “jeopardy”, then the successive proceedings against that person for similar conduct are not proscribed. The Fifth Amendment states that the protection against double jeopardy extends solely to proceedings menacing “limb or life”. However, the Supreme Court has established that double jeopardy is not limited to corporal punishment or capital crimes but extends to all misdemeanors, felonies, and juvenile delinquency adjudications, irrespective of the punishments they proscribe.

A contract is an agreement between businesses or individuals where one party agrees to carry out a task for the other in exchange for something in return. Double jeopardy does not also apply to civil breach of contact suits. Instead, “res judicata” applies. With res judicata if there is a new breach on the same contract you can be sued. However, if a lawsuit involves the same exact breach that has already been litigated and ruled on, then it cannot be litigated again. However, the party that is suing you in this type of scenario does have the right to appeal if they believe there was a judicial error during the trial.

To determine if res judicata applies to your particular claim(s), you may contact one of the breach of contract attorneys in San Diego Fresno from Webb Bordson, APC.

Fresno Branch:

466 W. Fallbrook,
Suite 102
Fresno, CA 93711
T: (559) 431-4888
F: (559) 821-4500

San Diego Branch:
10509 Vista Sorrento Pkwy., Suite 430
San Diego, CA 92121
T: (619) 399-7700
F: (619) 819-8400

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