Martin v. Commonwealth (1981)
In Martin v. Commonwealth, 221 Va. 720, 273 S.E.2d 778 (Va. 1981) the defendant argued that his convictions for both robbery and petit larceny constituted a violation of the double jeopardy clause. 273 S.E.2d at 779. The Virginia Supreme Court held that the double jeopardy clause of both the United States and Virginia Constitutions did not apply to prevent the prosecution or conviction of multiple offenses when "the offenses are based upon distinct and separate acts." Id. at 780.
In Martin, the defendant drove his automobile into a station and directed the attendant to fill the gas tank. Id. at 779. After the attendant completed filling the gas tank, the defendant displayed a shotgun and ordered the attendant to "give me all your money." Id. The attendant, thereafter, gave the defendant the money in his pockets. The defendant also obtained money from inside a refrigerator in the station building. Id. at 779-80. The defendant was charged with robbery of the attendant and grand larceny of the station owner for the money taken from the refrigerator. Id. at 780.
The Virginia Supreme Court held that the defendant's conviction for both robbery and theft did not violate the double jeopardy clauses because the offenses did not occur at the same time and "involved two separate and distinct acts of caption and two different acts of asportation." Id. at 781. It reasoned that "the robbery outside the station was complete and the theft underlying that offense ended the moment the defendant picked up the money that the attendant had dropped." Id. at 782. The larceny inside the station and the theft underlying that offense began and ended with the removal from the refrigerator of the money concealed therein." Id. Therefore, convicting the defendant of the two offenses did not violate the double jeopardy clauses because the convictions were "based upon distinct and separate acts and did not involve the same theft." Id.