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Man faces new charges in pipeline protest

There have been many high-profile political protests in recent months. Usually, demonstrations are a peaceful example of residents exercising their rights but at times they may result in criminal charges.

An Oregon man currently faces felony charges related to what he describes as an act of environmental protest. Prosecutors recently filed new charges against him after a jury was unable to reach a verdict in his trial.

According to prosecutors, the 60-year-old man entered a fenced-in area north of Seattle where a pipeline carries oil from Canada into Washington. The man claimed he intended his actions to be an inspiration to others to decrease their reliance on fossil fuels.

Police arrested the man and he was charged with several crimes. At trial, he argued that his actions were necessary to save the planet from the disastrous effects of climate change. A jury failed to reach a verdict and a judge declared a mistrial. Recently, authorities refiled charges against the man. He now faces felony charges of burglary and sabotage.

The "Double Jeopardy" clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects defendants from being tried twice for the same offense. However, there are exceptions and many technical requirements to this rule.

Felony charges can keep a person behind bars for more than a year. When the stakes are this high, it is crucial to have the help of a criminal defense lawyer who can help you to protect your rights and your future. If you are facing criminal charges, an experienced criminal defense attorney can explain your legal options and the strategies that can help

Source: KHQ, "Charges refiled against pipeline protester after hung jury," Feb. 12, 2017

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