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Adjudications don't violate double jeopardy

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that double jeopardy violations can be applicable to juveniles, but denied reversing a girl's adjudications because there were no violations in her case.

In H.M. v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0707-JV-576, H.M. challenged that her adjudications for attempted theft and battery constitute double jeopardy because the same evidence of her grabbing another girl's necklace was used to support both true findings.

The state argues there can't be a double jeopardy violation in this case because double jeopardy doesn't apply to juvenile proceedings where there is only one finding of delinquency and disposition. The state wanted the Court of Appeals to revisit its decision in D.B. v. State, 842 N.E.2d at 403, in which the state had the same argument; the appellate court declined to revisit D.B.

Double jeopardy prohibitions are applicable to juvenile proceedings because even though the court may issue one delinquency disposition relating to multiple true findings, there may be penal consequences later in life for the offender relating to those multiple offenses, wrote Judge Nancy Vaidik.

However, in the instant case, H.M.'s adjudications aren't subject to the double jeopardy prohibition because there is evidence H.M. battered the girl and caused her pain separate from just pulling on her necklace, wrote the judge. Under the actual evidence test, H.M.'s true findings for attempted theft and battery don't constitute double jeopardy.

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