What is The Three Strikes Law in California?

Many states have laws that allow for harsher penalties to punish repeat offenders of violent crimes. In California, this is known as the three strikes law, and any cases that fall under this law are extremely serious matters. If you are facing a criminal case and the three strikes law applies, you need assistance from a Riverside, CA criminal defense attorney immediately. Do not wait to call DeLimon Law with so much at stake. 

Enhanced Penalties after Three Strikes

California’s version of the three strikes law can apply when a person faces allegations of a serious or violent felony offense, and they already have two prior convictions of serious or violent felonies on their record. Some examples of serious or violent felony offenses include:

  1. Arson
  2. Robbery
  3. Rape
  4. Sex crimes involving a child under age 14
  5. Murder
  6. Manslaughter
  7. First-degree burglary
  8. Grand theft

In some cases, other offenses outside of serious or violent felony categories can incite the three strikes law if the defendant has two prior qualifying convictions. These situations include:

  1. Using a firearm during the third offense  
  2. Intending to cause serious bodily harm during the third offense
  3. The third offense involves certain amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin
  4. The third offense is one that requires sex offender registration with the state

These convictions can allow for sentencing under the three strikes law, as well. This means that an offender convicted of the third offense can face 25 years to life in state prison. This is the case even if the usual penalties for the third strike offense are much less serious under other circumstances.

Defending Against Your Third Strike Offense

Like any other criminal matter, you have the opportunity to defend against and challenge a three strikes offense and enhanced sentencing. First, the right defense attorney can determine whether you can fight your charges and avoid a conviction altogether. There are different defense strategies available in different cases, and these can include:

  1. Innocence shown by an alibi, false identification, and more
  2. Suppression of key evidence due to constitutional violations
  3. Self-defense
  4. Consent in sex crime cases (involving adult victims)

Additionally, your criminal defense lawyer can file something called a “Romero motion” in your three strikes case. This motion argues that the judge should dismiss one of your prior strikes for the purposes of sentencing. The motion must demonstrate that such a dismissal is in the interest of justice, and the judge has discretion whether to do so or not. 

If you get a strike dismissed, you will face the usual sentencing for the offense in question, which can be much less than 25 years to life in prison. It is essential that you have a lawyer evaluate your options as soon as possible.

Contact a Riverside, CA Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away

The Riverside, CA criminal defense lawyers of DeLimon Law handle serious criminal cases, including those under the three strikes law. Call (951) 382-5559 or contact us online to discuss your charges, possible defense options, and how we can assist you.

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