The United States Supreme Court, in the case of Evans v Michigan , determined that when a trial court enters a directed verdict of not guilty which is based on a mistake of law, the erroneous acquittal constitutes a permanent not guilty verdict for double jeopardy purposes which bars any further prosecution. In Evans, the trial court granted a directed verdict of Not Guilty after the prosecution rested. The judge ruled that the defendant was not guilty as a matter of law because the prosecution provided insufficient evidence of a particular element of the offense. However, the trial court made a mistake because the element the court found was unproven was not actually an element of the crime that was charged. The United States Supreme Court decided that there was, “no meaningful constitutional distinction between a trial court’s misconstruction of a statute and its erroneous addition of a statutory element” for double jeopardy purposes.
Michigan criminal defense attorney with expertise in double jeopardy matters
The case of Michigan v Evans
is one of the few recent United States Supreme Court cases favorable toward the person charged with a crime. If you are facing criminal charges, it is important you have expert legal representation that is aware on the continuing changes in the criminal law. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.
are diligent with keeping up with changes in the law so that the people they represent have cutting edge legal assistance. If you have any questions, please contact LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.
at (248) 263-6800
or complete a Request for Assistance Form
and one of our attorneys will contact you.