April 8, 2021 By Paul Wallin

Can You Be Punished Twice For the Same Crime?

The California Penal Code provides that a person who is convicted of multiple crimes for engaging in the same criminal act shall be punished under the provision that provides the longest potential term of imprisonment. (Cal Penal Code §654.) In determining whether a defendant has been convicted of multiple crimes for the same act, the court ignores the intent or objectives the defendant had at the time of the act. Moreover, the court will not consider whether the statutes authorizing criminal charges are aimed at preventing distinct evils.Wallin and Klarich Criminal Defense Attorney Orange County

For example, where a defendant is convicted of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance while armed, they may only be punished for the crime that provides for the longest possible sentence. It does not matter that the defendant had a different objective or intent when possessing the firearm, nor does it matter that the laws were passed to protect against different societal harms. 


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AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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