Tipton v. State

In Tipton v. State, 331 Ark. 28, 959 S.W.2d 39 (1998), the appellant was charged with second-degree battery. The appellant's case was set for a bench trial, but the trial court dismissed the charge when the victim did not appear at trial. When the charge was refiled, the appellant argued that the previous dismissal amounted to an acquittal and that the Double Jeopardy Clause prohibited the State from pursuing the battery charge. On appeal, the supreme court held that jeopardy does not attach in a bench trial until the trial judge hears the first witness. Since the trial court had not begun to hear evidence when the case was dismissed, the supreme court ruled that the appellant's right against double jeopardy had not been offended.