California passed the Three Strikes Law as a deterrent to keep criminals from becoming repeat offenders and to protect citizens from these criminals. The Three Strikes Law imposes harsher sentences for those criminals who have prior felony convictions. A convicted felon on their third strike could face 25 years to life in prison even if the most recent crime is not considered a strike on its own. In that case, the imposed sentence will still be twice the normal sentence for the nonviolent felony.
A person who has two strikes against them must serve at least 80% of their sentence before being eligible for parole and 85% if they were convicted of a violent felony. A person with three strikes has their privilege of time off for good behavior revoked. Repeat offenders under the law also are ineligible for probation or rehab.
Juvenile court convictions count as strikes if the child was at least 16 years old when they committed the crime, the crime committed is a violent or serious felony, and the crime is listed in California Welfare and Institutions Code 707.
Some people argued that the law violated a person’s Eight Amendment rights of “cruel and unusual punishment” and could cause someone to end up serving a life sentence for a third crime that was nonviolent. Overcrowding of the prisons with criminals no longer a threat was also an issue.
Proposition 36 which was passed in November 2012, took care of this issue. Before a 25 year to life sentence can be imposed, all three strikes against the defendant must be for serious or violent crimes.
Under Proposition 36, prisoners serving time for a third strike are eligible to have their sentence reduced if their third strike was not a serious or violent felony.
• Rape, murder or conspiring to commit murder, and manslaughter
• Gang related crimes or crimes causing great bodily harm
• Crimes in which the perpetrator used a gun whether discharged or not
• Assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer or firefighter.
• Home invasion and robbery are always considered serious crimes
Maximum penalty imposed:
• If your third offense involves intent to sell, transport, or manufacture cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or other illegal substances
• If the third offense is a felony sex crime
• Any crime of a sexual nature with the potential for violence towards a minor under 14 years old and more than 10 years younger than the offender
Multiple Convictions, Multiple sentences
If more than one crime is tried at the same time, consecutive sentences will be handed down provided the evidence is unique to each case. Each individual charge will be reviewed as to whether a strike should be issued against the defendant.
Encino Three Strike Law Lawyers
The experienced criminal defense attorneys at A&T Legal Group are dedicated to protecting your rights under the laws of the State of California. California enforces the Three Strikes Law so it is crucial to do everything possible to have the charges dropped or reduced if possible. If you need a Three Strikes attorney Los Angeles, our professional team is ready to defend you all the way to trial, if necessary.
To schedule a free consultation with an Encino Three Strikes law lawyer, call (818) 995-8128 or submit your information on our Contact Us page.