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WALLER V. FLORIDA, 397 U. S. 387 (1970)

U.S. Supreme Court

Waller v. Florida, 397 U.S. 387 (1970)

Waller v. Florida

No. 24

Argued November 13, 1969

Decided April 6, 1970

397 U.S. 387


Petitioner was convicted by the St. Petersburg municipal court of violating two ordinances, destruction of city property and disorderly breach of the peace, and sentenced to 180 days in jail. Thereafter, an information, concededly based on the same acts that led to the previous convictions, was filed by the State of Florida charging petitioner with grand larceny. The State Supreme Court denied a writ of prohibition to prevent the second trial on petitioner's claim of double jeopardy. Petitioner was tried and convicted of grand larceny. The District Court of Appeal, holding that there would be no bar to the prosecution in the state court. "even if a person has been tried in a municipal court for the identical offense with which he is charged in a state court," affirmed the grand larceny conviction.

Held: The State of Florida and is municipalities are not separate sovereign entities each entitled to impose punishment for the same alleged crime, as the judicial power of the municipal courts and the state courts of general jurisdiction springs from the same organic law, and the District Court of Appeal erred in holding that a second trial in a state court for the identical offense for which a person was tried in a municipal court did not constitute double jeopardy. Pp. 397 U. S. 390-395.

213 So.2d 623, vacated and remanded.

Page 397 U. S. 388

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