Three strikes cases are criminal offenses subject to a sentencing scheme in California that has dramatically increased the punishment for people faced with certain criminal charges who have prior felony convictions. It means persons can face a prison term of 25 years or more for even petty offenses if they have a prior, criminal record, which includes serious felonies (“strikes”).
Mr. Leib has successfully defended many people who are facing long prison terms including 25 years to life due to an alleged “three strikes” offense. He has been able to get charges dismissed, eliminate prior offenses as being considered “strikes” and/or reduce charges to avoid a “three strikes” sentence. In some cases, this has completely eliminated the possibility of prison time and/or drastically reduced the sentence in other cases.
HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Harsh Sentencing Guidelines Under the Three Strikes Law:
A defendant who commits any felony, that has two or more prior offenses that are “strikes”, must be sentenced to at least 25-years-to-life in State Prison. A defendant who commits any felony with one prior “strike” offense on his record must be sentenced to double the normal sentence.
Another harsh component of the law is that there is no reduction of sentence for good behavior with a three strikes conviction. A defendant who commits a felony with one prior “strike” offense on his record must serve at least 80% of his sentence in prison and good behavior credits cannot exceed one-fifth of the total prison term. Compare this to non-strike cases, where up to 50% of the sentence can be reduced because of good behavior credits.
What is the definition of a “Strike”?
A “Strike” is a prior conviction of a “serious” or “violent” felony. “Serious” felonies are those offenses listed in California Penal Code Section 1192.7 (c) (includes murder, mayhem, rape, sodomy by force, lewd and lascivious acts, assault, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, exploding a destructive device, first degree burglary, robbery, kidnapping, grand theft, carjacking, sexual abuse of a child, and certain terrorist threats) while “violent” felonies are those offenses listed in California Penal Code Section 667.5 (c) (includes many of these same offenses and “any felony in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on any person … or any felony in which defendant uses a firearm”).
When did the prior offense have to occur in order to be considered a “strike”?
The 3 Strikes law went into effect on March 7, 1994. This means that the current felony must have occurred after March 7, 1994 to trigger these harsh sentencing guidelines. However, the prior strike convictions could have occurred at any time, even prior to March 7, 1994, and still count as “strikes”.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS FACING A THREE STRIKES CONVICTION, CONTACT US NOW! WE CAN HELP!