If you’ve been questioned concerning a criminal offence, you may wonder what potential charges you could be facing and whether more than one charge can be brought against you for the same incident.
Seeking legal advice if you have been questioned regarding a criminal offence is crucial to ensure you understand the potential defence available to you and the penalties you may be facing.
Can you receive multiple charges?
A person can be charged with numerous charges arising from one incident. The charges laid against you will depend on the details of the incident, including the severity of the incident, the number of people involved and the evidence against you.
If the criminal offence you’re charged with involves numerous people, this can result in multiple charges. An example of this is cases such as dangerous driving or assault, through which there were multiple victims. While one type of offence may have been committed, multiple charges can be brought against you for each person affected by the alleged offence.
You can also be charged with a number of alternative offences for one alleged incident. For example, you may be charged with intentionally and recklessly causing injury against one victim. What charge ultimately proceeds will depend on the evidence. This is a complex area of law and you will need an expert to assist you when dealing with multiple alternative offences.
If you are charged with multiple criminal offences, the charges may be joined on the same indictment against you. This generally happens only if all the charges are based on the same facts or form part of a series of offences of the same or similar character, or a series of offences committed in the prosecution of a single purpose.
Penalty for multiple offences
If you’ve been charged with multiple offences, the penalty will depend on the offences that have been proven. This is a complex area of sentencing law.
Depending on the case, you may find it in your best interest to plead guilty to lesser charges to avoid harsher penalties. Your lawyer will advise you on the best course of action to take concerning the specifics of your criminal case.
Sentencing for multiple offences
If you plead guilty or are convicted of multiple offences, you may receive an aggregate sentence (for example, a term of imprisonment or a community corrections order for all offences).
You may receive individual sentences on each offence, to be served concurrently, cumulatively, or partially concurrently with the principal sentence. Concurrent sentences are served at the same time. Cumulative sentences are served one after the other. Partial cumulation sentences involve part of one sentence being served at the same time as the principal sentence, and another part to be served after the principal term has ended.
Our lawyers understand the sentencing principles that must be argued to ensure you receive the best possible sentence.
Criminal defence lawyer
If you receive multiple charges for a single incident, it’s vital to engage an experienced criminal lawyer who can provide advice on defending against multiple charges.
If you’ve been questioned or charged concerning a criminal offence, contact the team at Stary Norton Halphen immediately.