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Double Jeopardy – Multiplicity, Generally

State v. Alvin M. Moore, 2006 WI App 61, PFR filed 3/21/06
For Moore: Donna L. Hintze, SPD, Madison Appellate


¶15      Charges are multiplicitous if they charge a single criminal offense in more than one count. State v. Grayson, 172 Wis. 2d 156, 159, 493 N.W.2d 23 (1992). Claims of multiplicity are analyzed using a two-prong test that requires examination of: (1) “whether the charged offenses are identical in law and fact;” and (2) if they are not, “whether the legislature intended the multiple offenses to be brought as a single count.”State v. Anderson, 219 Wis. 2d 739, 746, 580 N.W.2d 329 (1998).¶16      If, applying the first step of the analysis, a court determines that the charges are identical in law and fact, then the charges are multiplicitous and violate constitutional double jeopardy protections. State v. Trawitzki, 2001 WI 77, ¶¶20-21, 244 Wis. 2d 523, 628 N.W.2d 801. If the charges are not identical in law and fact, no constitutional violation exists, but the court must still determine if the legislature intended multiple punishments for the same offenses. Id., ¶¶20-22. …

¶17      [W]hether the legislature intended that multiple offenses that are different in fact be brought as a single count  is conducted de novo.

¶18      “[W]e begin with the presumption that the legislature intended multiple punishments. This presumption may only be rebutted by a clear indication to the contrary.” Id. at 751 (citations omitted). “We use four factors to determine legislative intent in a multiplicity analysis: 1) statutory language; 2) legislative history and context; 3) the nature of the proscribed conduct; and 4) the appropriateness of multiple punishment.” Id.


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