August 2, 2007 By Wallin & Klarich

In California if you have two prior strikes and you are arrested for a new felony you will be facing 25 years to life in prison. Many people do not know that what determines whether you will be facing a “third strike offense” is your prior convictions and not the nature of the current felony that you may be accused of.

This means that no matter what felony you now are accused of, you can go to prison for 25 years to life if found guilty of that new felony, if your prior criminal record includes two prior strike felony convictions.

The two prior “strikes” can have occurred at the same time to qualify for three strikes punishment.

An example of two prior strikes: twenty years ago you were found guilty (or plead guilty) to two separate counts of robbery (Penal Code Section 211). This would act as two prior strikes, even if the two robberies were committed at the same time. A prior strike or strikes can occur even if the felony conviction occurred in another state. This is where your choice of a lawyer will be critical.

You should be retaining a criminal defense firm with tremendous experience in defending three strikes cases so they can properly analyze whether your prior record can be used to make your case a “three strikes case”.

What people do not know is that even a very minor felony can result in a defendant going to prison for twenty five years to life if the defendant has suffered two prior “strike” offenses. A good example of how far the law can go is a recent case where a defendant went into a video rental store and took 3 videos valued at a total of $30.00. The District Attorney charged the case as a felony burglary. The defendant had two prior strikes. The defendant was found guilty of felony burglary and was sentenced to prison for 25 years to life. The conviction was upheld on appeal.

It should be very clear that having a law firm like Wallin and Klarich on your side when facing a possible three strikes crime is a very good idea. If you have questions about how we can defend you feel free to call us at 888-280-6839. We will be here to assist you in your time of need.

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