Autrefois Convict Law and Legal Definition

Autrefois convict is a plea made by a defendant in a case when s/he is indicted for a crime or misdemeanor. By this plea, a defendant can claim that s/he was charged of the same crime under substantially same facts. The defendant should also prove that s/he was convicted for the offense.

Autrefois convict is a technical plea of defense made before the commencement of a trial in a criminal proceeding. A defendant should provide substantial evidence that s/he was convicted for the same cause. Pursuant to the double jeopardy rule no one can be put in jeopardy twice for the same cause. Therefore, a person is once tried and convicted of an offence cannot be placed in jeopardy for the same cause. If a person has suffered the penalty due for the offence, that conviction should bar a second indictment for the same cause. Otherwise it would result in punishing a person twice for the same crime.