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Criminal Charge Stacking: Everything You Need to Know

Facing criminal charges can be stressful and intimidating as it is, but facing multiple charges at once can heighten the anxiety. You’re likely unsure of what this means for you and your future, and the fear may be paralyzing. 

If you’ve been charged with more than one crime, you may be experiencing criminal charge stacking. Continue reading to better understand what criminal charge stacking is and how it could affect you.

For assistance with criminal charges, a Daytona criminal attorney can provide quality guidance.

What Is Criminal Charge Stacking?

Criminal charge stacking, also referred to as “piling on,” involves a prosecutor charging a defendant with as many charges as they possibly can. 

When you’re arrested for a crime, law enforcement officers have the power to submit more than one charge against you. Doing this can often strengthen the main charge and make it more likely that you’ll be found guilty. 

Charge stacking is bad news for criminal defendants. It can make forming a defense much more challenging, and a defendant with multiple charges frequently faces harsher sentencing.

Criminal Charges Often Stacked Together

For law enforcement officers and prosecutors, some charges are paired well together. For example:

If you’re charged with drug possession, you may also be charged with intent to distribute 

  • If you’re charged with robbery, you may also be charged with unlawful gun possession
  • If you’re charged with embezzlement, you may also be charged with fraud
  • If you’re charged with sexual battery, you may also be charged with attempted kidnapping

Every case is unique, and the type of charges you may face depends on your situation and the details of your arrest.

Criminal Charge Stacking and Double Jeopardy

Many confuse charge stacking and double jeopardy, but the two are very different.

Double jeopardy protects criminal defendants from being tried for the same exact crime twice. However, that does not mean a defendant cannot be charged and tried for crimes of the same type that count as separate occurrences. 

Charge stacking can involve multiple charges of the same kind of crime, but it does not mean you face being tried for the same crime more than once.

What Are the Consequences of Criminal Charge Stacking for a Defendant?

Criminal charge stacking makes creating a defense much more difficult for defendants. If you’re charged with multiple crimes, you’ll have to attempt to offer a defense to each of the crimes in hopes of lessening your resulting sentence or, better yet, being found not guilty. 

Not only does charge stacking bring about many difficulties, but it can also raise the stakes for criminal defendants. A defendant with more than one charge faces harsher sentencing, more expensive fines, or both.

Consult with a Daytona Criminal Attorney If You’re Experiencing Criminal Charge Stacking

If you’ve been charged with multiple crimes, do not hesitate to contact a Daytona criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

Because multiple charges can make your case more challenging, you’ll want to get started on creating a legal strategy as soon as possible. A criminal attorney has the skills, knowledge, and resources to pursue a favorable outcome on your behalf.

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime or crimes, give Rice Law Firm a call at (386) 257-1222 for a free consultation!