State v. Riley

In State v. Riley, 169 W. Va. 354, 287 S.E.2d 502 (1982), the defendant was charged by eight separate indictments with the forgery and uttering of a like number of checks. Although the defendant was initially acquitted at trial with respect to the charges contained in one of the indictments, the State later obtained convictions for forgery and uttering under a remaining indictment. Noting that the case involved "separate forgeries and utterances of separate checks that were cashed at separate places and at separate times," the Court rejected the defendant's double jeopardy claim, stating that "the only thread common to all these checks was that they were allegedly written on the same check-writing machine. This fact alone is not enough to evoke double jeopardy." 169 W. Va. at 356, 287 S.E.2d at 504. Riley does not conflict with the notion that passing several forged instruments at the one time constitutes a single offense, but neither does it necessarily support such a proposition. In Riley, the Court merely concluded that the defendant's alleged conduct involved entirely separate transactions, and therefore the defendant had no factual basis upon which to assert a double jeopardy claim.