Three Strikes Law

If you or your loved one are faced with a strike charges or any new felony while having previous strike convictions the matter could not be more serious. The three strikes law is a complex and severe area of the law and trained prosecutors often use it to their advantage. Our attorneys were once those prosecutors and have that training and experience to balance the scales in your favor. When dealing with a serious case, it is important that you have an attorney equipped with the necessary knowledge and experience. Contact our three strike attorneys to schedule a free consultation.

For your knowledge and convenience, we have included some interesting and important facts about the three strikes law.

Three Strikes History

The Three Strikes law was first enacted in California in 1994 and created a sentencing system that dramatically increased punishment for people with prior violent or serious convictions. Although it is known as one law, the "Three Strikes" is actually contained in two different parts of the Penal Code. The first, contained in Penal Code section 667(b)-(i) was enacted by the legislature in March of 1994. The second, contained in Penal Code 1170.12 was enacted in the general election of November, that same year.

Effect of One Prior Strike Conviction

If you have a prior conviction for a serious or violent felony, it will likely be charged as a prior strike if you are charged with a new felony. One prior strike conviction can have the effect of mandating a prison sentence for twice the specified amount of time in the new case. If the prior conviction is a serious felony as described in Penal Code Section 1192.7 and the new case involves a serious or violent felony, the prior conviction can not only be used as a strike to double the sentence but can also be used as a 5-year prior under Penal Code Section 667(a). This means that the potential maximum sentence in the new case is double the original maximum term plus five years. As your Sacramento criminal defense attorneys, we will fight for a more favorable outcome.

Two or More Prior Strikes and 25-Life

If you have two or more serious or violent felony prior convictions, any new felony conviction will make you eligible to receive a minimum sentence of 25 years to life. While there were recent efforts to change this, the current California three strikes law states that the new felony conviction does not have to be a serious or violent felony.

Three Strikes Facts

Did you know that:

  • Strikes, unlike other categories of crimes, do not have wash out periods
  • A conviction for a serious or violent felony can be counted as a strike even if the conviction occurred before the three strikes law was enacted
  • Juvenile adjudications can be strikes in certain situations
  • Out-of-state convictions can be strikes if they fit the definition of a strike in California
  • Having a prior strike conviction or being convicted of a new strike does have an effect on the maximum amount of time credits you receive while incarcerated
  • With limited exceptions, a strike conviction remains a strike even if it is later dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanor
  • The District Attorney is prohibited by law to plea bargain prior strike convictions
  • You can be convicted of multiple strikes in the same case or arising from the same facts

At the Law Offices of Bonilla & Cintean, LLP. we have experience dealing with strike cases as well as cases involving prior strike convictions. We are able to competently assist you with your strike case. If you have one or more prior strike convictions, it is essential that you contact us as soon as possible, preferably before the DA has made you an offer. If that is not possible, contact us at any point in the process and we still start working on your case immediately. If you are currently facing a serious or violent felony, as your Sacramento attorneys, we will work toward bringing the case to a favorable resolution. Because the sentencing consequences of the three strikes law are so great and the DA has limited plea bargaining ability, most cases that end up before a jury fall within this category.

At Bonilla & Cintean, LLP we do not shy away from taking strike cases to trial. Contact us to discuss all options and develop the best strategy towards obtaining the most favorable outcome in your case.