Separate-Sovereigns Rule Law and Legal Definition

Separate-sovereigns rule is a principle of criminal law that allows consecutive prosecutions by the state and federal authorities for criminal violations arising out of the same conduct. A person may be tried twice for the same offense if the prosecutions are conducted by separate sovereigns. This is an exception to the double jeopardy clause of the U.S. Constitution that forbids a person from being tried twice for the same offence.