In 1994, the Three Strikes law was signed into law by California Governor Pete Wilson, which increases punishments for repeat felony offenders. While once, any felony conviction would result in a strike on a person’s record, today only certain felonies can result in a person receiving a strike.
Criminal offenses such as rape, robbery, murder, and criminal threats are a few crimes that can result in a strike. A conviction for a felony offense can result in two potential sentences. The first is up to one year in a county jail, with the defendant being released on probation. The second potential sentence for a felony conviction is time in state prison, with defendants being released on parole.
Every felony charge in the state has a sentence that breaks down into three possible sentences. The sentence levied by a judge will depend on a number of factors. The classifications are as follows:
- The different classifications are known as low-term, mid-term, and high-term.
- An offense classified as low-term is reserved for cases that involve mitigating circumstances and as such, a less severe sentence.
- High-term classifications represent an aggravated term because the facts of the case warrant a more serious punishment.
- Any new case involving a felony could result in a second or third strike, but the more serious, the more likely it is.
- It is always important to speak to a criminal defense lawyer any time you are facing charges that could result in another strike.
When an individual is convicted of a felony offense that results in a strike, that strike can be used against them in any future case. For a strike to be used for a future conviction, the felony offense must be eligible for a strike. The strike doubles the penalties for future convictions.
A defendant may be convicted of possession of methamphetamine and be sentenced to 16 months, two years, or three years. If the individual has a previous strike on their record, they will face penalties of 32 months, four years, or six years. If the individual is then convicted a third time and receives a third strike, they face a minimum of 25 years in prison, and a maximum life sentence.
Judges and district attorneys have the authority to strike a strike from a person’s record. This means that even when a defendant has previous strikes, it does not necessarily mean that a strike will apply to the new case. Using the example above, if a defendant has a strike stricken, they may:
- Only receive a sentence of 16 months in prison rather than 32 months or even a lifetime sentence, meaning a much earlier release.
- Only have to serve a lower percentage of their sentence, at 50%, rather than more of it. Defendants with a second strike typically have to serve at least 80% of their sentence.
- A criminal defense lawyer in California can help you avoid a second strike, and the incredibly harsh penalties that are associated with them.
People that already have strikes on their record have much more to lose when they are facing future felony charges. Having a strike makes it very challenging to fight new cases, but it is not impossible.
If you have a strike and want to avoid another one,
call 805-477-0070 now.
We can provide you with a free case review.
If you have been charged with a felony offense and you already have previous strikes on your record, do not face your charges alone. At The Law Offices of David Lehr, we know the defenses available to give you the best chance of success and have experience getting strikes stricken so you do not face the most serious of penalties. Call us today at 805-477-0070 to schedule a free case review and obtain the sound legal advice you need.
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