Three Strikes Defense Attorney

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What is the California Three Strikes Law?

In 1994 California enacted its Three Strikes sentencing law as a way to deter criminals from committing subsequent crimes. The law classifies certain felony charges as “serious”¹ or “violent.”² A felony conviction on either of these classes of charges would be considered a “strike” on your record. Having a “strike” on your record has a multitude of negative effects for both the current case and potential future cases.

What are the effects of a “Strike” offense on my case?

Pending Cases

When it comes to pending cases, a serious felony and a violent felony have vastly different effects. If you’re charged with a serious felony and have no prior “strikes,” then any prison sentence imposed will be served at the traditional 50% credit rate. In contrast, if you are charged with a violent felony it does not matter if you’ve never been in trouble before or if you have a long criminal history, a prison sentence on a violent felony must be served at 85%.

“Strike” Prior Cases

Having a prior “strike” conviction on your record can have a huge negative effect on all future felony charges. For instance:

  • You are presumed to be ineligible for probation;
  • Any prison sentence must be doubled;
  • You must serve your prison sentence at 80% as opposed to the standard 50%;
  • Any separate charges that you are sentenced to must be served consecutively as opposed to concurrently; and
  • If the new offense is a serious or violent felony, then you may be exposed to an additional five (5) year enhancement known as a “Nickel Prior.”

Third “Strike” Cases

If you have two (2) prior distinctive “strikes” and are currently charged with a new serious or violent felony, then you are potentially looking at serving twenty-five (25) years to life.

How to Build a Defense Against a Three Strikes Case

There are multiple strategies when planning a defense but they all depend on the nature of the current and previous offenses. In some cases, a prior “strike” can be stricken to take the case outside the Three Strikes Law. In other instances, the current “strike” offense may be reducible to a misdemeanor, once again exempting it from the Three Strikes Law. The possibilities are endless.

Why contact The Lin Law Office Inc. for your Three Strikes case?

California’s Three Strikes Law is intricate and has the lifelong repercussions. Contact The Lin Law Office Inc. today for your free consultation.

References

  1. California Penal Code section 1192.7, subdivision (c).
  2. California Penal Code section 667.5, subdivision (c).
  3. California Penal Code section 4019.
  4. California Penal Code section 2933.1.
  5. California Penal Code sections 667 & 1170.12.
  6. California Penal Code sections 667, subdivision (e)(2)(A) & 1170.12, subdivision (c)(2)(A).
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