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Los Angeles Strike Crime Lawyers
Three Strikes Law in California
In California, a defendant who has previously been convicted of two "serious" and/or "violent" felony offenses may face life in prison for a third felony conviction of any kind. Though many states have their own version of enhanced penalties for multiple felony offenders, California has the harshest implementation of this law. Proposition 184, also referred to as "Three Strikes and You're Out" was passed in 1994 with an overwhelming majority of 72% voters in favor.
California's three strikes law works as follows:
- When a defendant is convicted of certain serious or violent felony offenses, he or she will receive a "strike" on his or her record.
- A second conviction for a serious or violent felony offense will result in double the normal prison term for that offense. For example, if the normal term of imprisonment is 8 years, the defendant would face 16 years instead.
- A third conviction for any felony offense, even when it is not classified as a serious or violent felony, will result in 25 years to life in prison.
The fact that a defendant may face life in prison for any third felony conviction is what makes three strikes law so serious. For example, petty theft may be charged as a felony in some circumstances, if the defendant has prior convictions on his or her record. For a defendant who already has two strikes on his or her record, a felony petty theft conviction may therefore lead to life in prison for something as small as allegedly stealing a slice of pizza. As of June of 2010, the state prison population in California included 32,479 second strikers and 8,647 third strikers.
Aggressive Defense Against "Strike" Offenses
At Takakjian & Sitkoff we understand just how serious it is to be accused of a crime that will qualify as a strike under our state's three strikes law. If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime of this nature, make sure you take the time to contact our offices to discuss your options and legal rights. As former prosecutors we understand how the government will work against you to try to put you behind bars – possibly for life. Our team is aggressive and will use our experience with both sides of criminal cases to seek the best result possible in your case.
There are specific crimes that may qualify as strikes on one's criminal record. This may include instances where a defendant stands accused of inflicting serious bodily injury on a victim, personally using a firearm or committing a similarly serious or violent felony. Murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, first degree burglary, arson and attempted murder are all examples of crimes that may be classified as strikes. For a defendant who already has two strikes on his or her record, however, any third felony conviction may trigger the three strikes law and result in 25 years to life in prison.
Take this opportunity to learn more about the three strikes law in California and how it may affect your particular case. You are welcome to call our firm at any time to schedule a completely confidential consultation and review of your charges. We take on all kinds of felony and misdemeanor cases for clients in the greater Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California.