STATE v. GARY C. B., SR., SC 18674

Judicial District of Ansonia-Milford, G.A. 5

 

Criminal; Double Jeopardy; Multiple Punishments; Whether Conviction of, and Punishment for, Criminal Possession of Firearm While Subject to Protective Order and Criminal Violation of Protective Order by Possessing a Firearm Violated Double Jeopardy Clause. The state charged the defendant with criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes 53a-217 (a) (3) (A), which prohibits the possession of a firearm by a person subject to a protective order in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person. In addition, the state accused the defendant of criminal violation of a protective order in violation of General Statutes 53a-223 (a), charging that a protective order had been issued against him and that he violated that order by possessing a firearm. The defendant was convicted of and sentenced for both of the charges. On appeal to the Appellate Court (122 Conn. App. 399), the defendant claimed that his conviction of, and his punishment for, both of the crimes violated the double jeopardy clause of the fifth amendment to the United States constitution and article first, 9, of the Connecticut constitution. The Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's judgment. In reaching its decision, the court first concluded that the crimes as charged constituted the same offense because the defendant could not have committed one of the crimes without having committed the other. The court further determined that the legislature intended to provide multiple punishments for the defendant's conduct in possessing a firearm while being subject to a protective order. Accordingly, it concluded that his conviction of, and his punishment for, the two crimes did not violate double jeopardy. The Supreme Court will now decide whether the Appellate Court's conclusion was correct.