Three Strikes Cases
Three Strikes Cases .
In California, if a person has been convicted of certain crimes, serious or violent felonies that are spelled out in the Penal Code, they are said to have “strikes”. The most common strikes are assaults causing great bodily injury, residential burglaries, robberies, carjacking, homicides other than involuntary manslaughter, and most sex crimes. When a criminal defendant is convicted of a strike, they do not feel immediate “strike” consequences. However, if a person has a “strike” anywhere in their past, and is then charged with a new felony, even if it is not serious, then strike consequences require prison, and a double sentence with one strike, and a minimum of 25 years to life if the person has 2 strikes. There are other sentencing enhancements that can add extra time, depending on the nature of the crime.
This can result in a person who committed 2 robberies at one time as a young person to face a life sentence for simple possession of narcotics or taking a car radio many years later. There have been ballot initiatives to change the serious consequences of the “Three Strikes Law”, but the law has been upheld in court and at the ballot box.
I have worked successfully with many defendants who are charged as three strikers. In some cases, I have been successful at both having the judge or the district attorney dismiss the strike penalty upon demonstrating certain life problems, whether they are psychological, physical, or problems of drug abuse. I have tried these cases to a jury and settled them with the prosecutor for much less serious penalties than the statute requires. Often I will work with a sentencing specialist or a psychologist in the appropriate case. I have successfully argued motions to dismiss out of state “strikes” that have been improperly charged. I am aware of all the issues in dealing with these complicated cases and have been able to obtain lesser sentences, sometimes dismissals or not guilty verdicts with most of the San Jose three strike cases I have defended.
For more information on California Three Strikes Law please contact Defense Attorney Maureen Baldwin today.