Lawyers often talk about criminal prosecutions as though the defendant faces one charge, the court hears the evidence and then renders a verdict on that one charge. In fact, it is very common for defendants to face multiple charges at a time. In some cases, a defendant may actually have been convicted and imprisoned on some charges and then face new, unrelated charges.
Recently, an Indianapolis man who was already in jail was charged with several more offenses, including felony drug crimes. The man had been sentenced to 115 days in a Marion County jail on weapons charges when he was charged with the other crimes, which allegedly took place in nearby Johnson County. If convicted of all the charges, he could be sentenced to 43 years in prison.
Warrants for arrest are often issued at the county level in Indiana. A person may be arrested in one county in connection with traffic-related charges, while another county has a warrant for the person’s arrest in connection with drug charges.
Once the defendant has been arrested, counties sometimes work together to bring all the charges against the defendant at the same time. This can help reduce the burden on courts, because it means holding one trial instead of two, but it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes, a person can find themselves facing new charges while they are already serving time related to other charges.
In particularly complex cases, people who are serving time on charges related to a county warrant may face new charges at the state level, the federal level, or in another state.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys like the ones at Kammen and Moudy can help people who have been accused of crimes to understand their options and defend their rights wherever they are in danger.