According to an April 16 press release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, a man with alleged gang affiliations was sentenced to 106 years to life in prison in connection with an assault that occurred at a Lancaster, CA home nearly 2 years ago.
The 41-year-old man was found guilty last month of seven counts of criminal offenses, including assault with a firearm and false imprisonment by violence. He had two previous convictions, for voluntary manslaughter and robbery from a 1992 shooting.
According to the prosecution, the assault occurred at the defendant's home in Lancaster on December 1, 2012. The prosecutor said the defendant slapped and choked his girlfriend, and when her brother tried to intervene, held both at gunpoint and refused to let them leave. The brother then stabbed the defendant in the head with a screwdriver and escaped, but the defendant left with his girlfriend and they were later pulled over by the police.
This case serves as a perfect example of how extreme criminal penalties can be in California, depending on the number of counts and also a defendant's criminal record. In this situation, the defendant is facing a particularly severe sentence of 106 years to life in state prison. This may be attributed to the two prior convictions he had on his record, both of which are considered "strikes" under California's three strikes law.
Three Strikes and You're Out
In California, a person who is convicted of certain violent or serious felony offenses may have a permanent strike on his or her record. This strike enhances the penalties for future serious or violent felony convictions. The three strikes law is meant to discourage repeat offenders by enforcing harsh penalties for second and third strikes. If a defendant is convicted of a second strike, the penalties may be doubled. A third strike may result in 25 years to life in prison.
As violent felony offenses, voluntary manslaughter and robbery would count as two separate strikes on a defendant's record, even if they occurred at the same time (as in the case above). Assault with a firearm and false imprisonment by violence may also be considered "strikeable" offenses, subject to enhanced penalties under the three strikes law.
In light of California's harsh three strikes law and the serious consequences of any felony conviction, it is essential to exercise your right to an attorney if you have been arrested for or accused of any criminal act. Do not let your future be jeopardized by overzealous law enforcement personnel and prosecutors who will do everything in their power to get you behind bars for as long as possible. Work with a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who will place your needs first while protecting your constitutional rights both inside and outside of the criminal courtroom.
At Lessem & Newstat, we have handled more than 200 jury trials and have more than 50 years of combined legal experience. Founding attorney Jeremy Lessem is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization; less than 1% of criminal law attorneys in California can claim this distinction. If you are looking for experience and a legal team that will fight tirelessly to protect your freedom, you have come to the right place. Find out for yourself why Lessem & Newstat may be just the firm to handle your case – call for a confidential consultation and case review.