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Three Strikes Attorney in Fairfield
What Constitutes a Strike in California?
The California "Three Strikes" statute originated from the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. This statute provides for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 25 years to life if convicted of three separate violent crime, sex crime, large drug crime, firearm/deadly weapon crime, or any other serious felony.
It is possible for a person to be charged and convicted of multiple strikes in the same trial. For example, if a person were to threaten a person with a handgun only to then commit a subsequent carjacking, they could be charged with two separate strike offenses – even though they were part of the same incident.
Its goal of the California Three Strikes Law is to create a "tough on crime" policy that is used to eliminate recidivism. There are numerous states around the nation that have implemented three strike laws, and California has one of the most far-reaching and severe three-strikes punishments. Call us today to learn how we can help you.
What are Examples of a Strike
Now that we have covered what constitutes a strike, we will now go over some examples.
Common examples of serious "strike" crimes include:
- Terrorist threats
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Attempted murder
- Sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14
- Certain drug-related crimes
Consequences of Three Strikes
The third strike for a violent felony conviction will bring a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years to life in prison without eligibility for parole. This is not to say that a second strike is any less serious.
Being convicted of a second strike can cause a person to face double the penalty for their new offense and require them to serve at least 80 percent of their sentence before being eligible for early release.
If your charge is considered your third strike, or if you are fighting to have your charge not being counted as a strike, it is crucial that you act fast. See what our experienced Fairfield three strikes lawyer can do to protect your future.
What is a “Serious” or “Violent” Felony?
A number of different offenses can result in a person receiving a strike on their record. All of these offenses either involve inflicting serious injury to another person, using or threatening to use a weapon, gang enhancement, or are sexual in nature.
A wide range of offenses can all result in a strike, including:
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Unlawful discharge of a firearm
The Impact of Prop 36 on Three Strikes Sentencing
While previously a third striker would face a life sentence for any third felony conviction, the passing of Proposition 36 in 2012 changed this to require a third strike to be a violent felony.
This eliminated situations in which a person convicted of third strike shoplifting could receive a harsher sentence than a person convicted of murder. This legislation also made approximately 3,000 third strikers who were at the time serving life sentences eligible to have their sentences reduced.
Still, even if a third felony is not considered violent or serious by the courts, it will still bring an enhanced sentence. As it stands, no three strike inmates in California have been paroled, with the first of these inmates being eligible in 2019.
Contact Our Three Strike Felony Lawyers in Solano County
Unfortunately, with such a strict law in place, many individuals who commit relatively minor crimes, yet have a criminal history, may be subject to extremely harsh punishment. If you have been arrested and are facing a third strike, the freedom that you enjoy may be at stake for the rest of your life
At The Maher Law Group, APC, we have an in-depth understanding of three strike laws and what is at stake in your situation. From calling prior strikes into question to negotiating with the prosecution or even asking the judge for a cancelation of the strike, we are able to utilize a number of cutting-edge methods to help.