Third Strike Cases
In California, there is a law which essentially states "Three Strikes, and You're Out." Three strike offenses are those considered extremely violent or serious, and are charged as felonies. A number of states have implemented a form of the Three Strikes law, however California's laws are the harshest of all. Essentially, defendants who commit certain serious or violent felony offenses will face increased penalties. Once an individual has two strikes on his or her record, a third felony may result in penalties which include 25 years to life in prison . At The Justice Firm, our Los Angeles third strike attorneys want to help you understand this complex law, and the consequences of having a first, second, or third strike on your record.Los Angeles Third Strike Crimes
As we mentioned, those offenses which are considered the most violent or serious are considered strike offenses. The most common include:
- Attempted murder
- Armed robbery
- Grand theft
- Drug trafficking
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Voluntary Manslaughter
This law was passed to keep violent repeat offenders off the streets following the murders of Polly Klaas and Kimber Reynolds; however, there is little evidence to support that the law has reduced the occurrence of serious/violent crimes in California. There are several flaws this law, not the least of which it has led to overcrowding in our prisons. The law also operates in a manner some consider similar to cruel and unusual punishment, at times violating the Eighth Amendment constitutional right.
In addition, third strike cases seem to apply disproportionately to minority defendants, and leave little to no room realistically for those convicted to be rehabilitated or redeemed, so hope for the future and turning things around is essentially lost.California Penalties for Third Strike Crimes
Under the Three Strikes law, those who are convicted of a second strike offense (meaning they have a strike prior) will have their sentence doubled. For instance, someone who is convicted of robbery would normally be sentenced to three, six, or nine years in prison. However, if an individual has a prior strike conviction for a felony offense and is subsequently convicted of robbery, he or she will face sentencing which includes six, twelve, or eighteen years in prison.
In the case of a third strike (two prior strikes on a defendant's record), the defendant will face 25 years to life in prison if the third offense is classified as a strike offense. If the third offense is not one considered a strike offense, the defendant will face an enhanced, or increased, sentence. Ultimately, sentencing will be exactly as with a second strike, meaning the sentence will be doubled.The Justice Firm Provides Outstanding Defense in Third Strike Cases
Being convicted of a third "strike" offense can literally bring your freedom to an end, particularly if you are sentenced to life in prison. Even if you currently have two strikes on your record and are arrested for a felony offense, it is vital you seek capable and skilled legal counsel right away.
Contact The Justice Firm now for unsurpassed legal guidance and representation. Don't put your freedom and future at risk; call 310-914-2444 now for a free consultation regarding your case.