The California Three Strikes Law is designed to increase the length of sentences for those persons who commit a new felony offense (any felony) and have been previously convicted of certain serious and/or violent felony offenses. (California Penal Code section 667(b)).
A common misconception is that every felony conviction is considered astrike. Fortunately, this is not the case, but the list of felonies that qualify as strike priors is very long. For example, Auto Theft (California Vehicle Code section 10851)commonly called GTA or Grand Theft Auto is a felony but is NOT a strike. Thus a person who has six prior convictions for auto theft still has no strike priors.
The three strikes law applies whenever a person is charged with a new felony offense (of any kind) and has certain prior convictions on their record. There is a long list of serious and violent felonies that qualify as strike priors including: murder, voluntary manslaughter, attempted murder, mayhem, rape, sodomy, oral copulation, lewd and lascivious act, personal infliction of great bodily injury, robbery, arson, kidnapping, sexual penetration, carjacking, residential burglary, any felony involving personal use of deadly weapon, grand theft firearm, criminal threats, any felony in which the defendant personally used a firearm, assault with intent to commit rape or robbery, and many other offenses.
The impact of having even one strike prior; can be significant. Having two or more strike priors; can result in a life sentence if convicted of ANY new strike felony offense.
If you are convicted of a new felony offense (of any kind) and you have ONE strike prior you cannot receive probation and you will be sentenced to prison for double the term for the offense you committed. You can only receive 20% credit off your sentence, meaning you will serve 80% of whatever sentence is ordered.
If you are convicted of a new felony offense (of any kind) and you have TWO or more strike priors you can be sentenced to 25-life in prison for each new felony offense!
If you are presently charged with a strike offense or you are alleged to have prior strikes you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you.
Please call Orange County Criminal Attorney immediately for a free confidential case evaluation.