Understanding California’s Three Strikes Law

The state of California employs a Three Strikes Law to enhance the sentences of repeat violent felony offenders in an effort to increase public safety and encourage previous offenders from breaking the law again. Essentially, this law creates a tiered system to further punish perpetrators of serious felony crimes, also known as “strikes.” In an ideal world, this law discourages repeat offenders under the threat of longer prison time. Under the wrong circumstances, it can lock up an innocent person for life.

Which Felonies Are Considered “Strike” Crimes?

There are a number of felonies and violent crimes which earn a “strike” under California state law. These include murder or voluntary manslaughter, sex crimes against children, rape, arson, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, and more.

The Three Strikes Law is organized as follows:

  • Strike 1 – There is no additional punishment other than what generally follows the crime.
  • Strike 2 – You will serve two times as much time as is required.
  • Strike 3 – You will be sentenced to 25 years to life, no matter the nature of your current or previous felonies.

If you are sentenced to prison under the Three Strikes Law, you are exempt from probation or other opportunities to reduce your time behind bars, such as through work hours or education credits.

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If you are facing multiple felony charges, there is much more at risk than you may realize. This is why it is absolutely vital you reach out to a criminal defense lawyer who will fight to make sure your voice is heard. At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we never give up on fighting to deliver you the most successful outcome possible.

Our legal team is ruthless. Allow us to fight for you today--call (800) 462-7160.