Blockburger Test Law & Legal Definition


Blockburger test is a test in criminal law which states that a person cannot be tried for lesser and greater crimes using the same evidence in subsequent trials. However, a person can be tried on lesser and greater crimes using the same evidence if the crimes are tried together in one trial. This does not constitute double jeopardy because the defendant is not tried twice using the same evidence.

This test is derived from the Supreme Court case, Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299 (1932). In thois case, the U.S Supreme Court set an important standard to prevent double jeopardy.

The following is an example of a case law on the Blockburger Test:

Under the Blockburger test, a defendant may be convicted of two offenses arising out of the same criminal incident if each crime contains an element not found in the other. The appellate court determines whether each crime contains an element not found in the other by examining only the relevant statute, the information and the bill of particulars, and not the evidence presented at trial. [ State v. Tweedy, 219 Conn. 489 (Conn. 1991)].