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United States v. Dixon

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Criminal Procedure keyed to Saltzburg

Citation. United States v. Dixon, 509 U.S. 688, 113 S. Ct. 2849, 125 L. Ed. 2d 556, 1993 U.S. LEXIS 4405, 61 U.S.L.W. 4835, 93 Cal. Daily Op. Service 4853, 93 Daily Journal DAR 8205, 7 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 599 (U.S. June 28, 1993)

Brief Fact Summary. This case arises from the consolidation of two cases which both deal with the Double Jeopardy clause.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Double Jeopardy arises when a defendant is prosecuted twice on the same offense, or is subsequently prosecuted for a lesser-included offense which could have been prosecuted the first time.

Facts. There are two distinguishable fact situations which the Court is dealing with:
In Dixon, defendant was arrested for murder in D.C. and released on bail, on the condition that he not commit any criminal offense, or he would be held in contempt of court. While awaiting trial, Dixon was later arrested and indicted for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and was found guilty of contempt and sentenced to 180 days in jail. Dixon moved to dismiss this indictment on double jeopardy grounds because that was prosecution was secondary to his first offense.

In Foster, the defendant’s wife obtained a CPO (civil protection order) against him due to domestic attacks. The Order required that he not molest, assault, or in any manner threaten or physically abuse her. Later his wife sought to have him held in contempt for violation of the Order. Foster also filed a Motion to Dismissed, grounded in double jeopardy, because his contempt charges arose out of the original prosecution.

Issue. This case questions whether a criminal can be later charged in contempt for committing the same crime of which he is already being prosecuted.

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