Strikes Charges in California: Third Strike

The “Three Strikes Law in California can mean a third offense can send you to prison for a minimum of 25 years. The controversy over this law stems from the fact that it is possible to spend the rest of your life in prison over a third offense, even it is simply stealing cigarettes. This is a complex law. If you have previously been convicted for committing 2 serious felonies (strikes) and if you are convicted for committing a third offense, you may be sentenced to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life.

A strike may include those convictions committed before the 1994 passing date of the “three strike law,” any conviction from other states, all federal convictions and possibly those convictions committed as a juvenile. When adding up the “strikes” against you, the court has the power to bump up a misdemeanor charge to a “strike” when your previous felonies are revealed.

For a complete list of three strike offenses in California, please refer to the California penal code, sections 1192.7. ( c ) and 667.5. ( c ). In addition, certain felonies committed by juveniles over the age of 16 are also strikes. These felonies are essentially the same as listed above. For a complete description of juvenile strikes please refer to the California Welfare and Institutions code, section 707 (b).

On November 6, 2012 the voters approved Proposition 36 which substantially amended the law with two primary provisions:

  1. The requirements for sentencing a defendant as a third strike offender were changed to 25 years to life by requiring the new felony to be a serious or violent felony with two or more prior strikes to qualify for the 25 year-to-life sentence as a third strike offender; and
  2. The addition of a means by which designated defendants currently serving a third strike sentence may petition the court for reduction of their term to a second strike sentence, if they would have been eligible for second strike sentencing under the new law.

The “three strike law” demands that anyone facing a third “strike” hire the best, the experienced attorney Lucy S. McAllister for his or her defense. Any “strike,” past or present; can be successfully argued to not be a “strike.” No matter how minor the crime may be, the court has the right to determine it a felony and, therefore, a third “strike.” With the right trial attorney, you can avoid a lengthy sentence.

At the law offices of Lucy S. McAllister Inc., our goal is vigorously to defend Californians who have been charged or accused of criminal offenses, including strikes charges.

For an initial confidential consultation, and for more information please e-mail us or call us at (877) 280-9944 – 24 hours a day.

Criminal Defense Attorney Lucy S. McAllister defends clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area who have been accused, charged, or arrested for criminal offenses in Santa Clara County, San Benito County, San Mateo County, Monterey County, Alameda County, and San Francisco County. Clients come to us from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including communities such as Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Palo Alto, San Mateo, Salinas, Monterey, San Benito, Hollister, San Juan Bautista, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Gilroy, San Martin, and Morgan Hill, Redwood City, San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, Newark, and Hayward.