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Recent Rulings Clarify California Three Strikes Reform Act

In 2012, voters passed Proposition 36, which aimed to reduce the harsh punishment imposed on those who received a third strike for a non-violent or non-serious offense. Under California Three Strikes Law, a strike will be added to your criminal record if you are convicted of a serious or violent felony. If you are convicted of three of these crimes, you will face 25 years to life in prison.

Several questions remained regarding the Three Strikes Reform Act once it was passed. The Supreme Court of California recently decided on two cases that help clarify key issues regarding Prop. 36.

Clearing Up Prop. 36 Sentencing Guidelines

Three Strikes LawConfusion over Prop. 36 emerged regarding crimes that occurred between the date the crime was committed and the date the act passed. Many judges weren’t sure if they could resentence inmates whose three strikes involved a mix of serious and non-serious felonies.

In a recent decision, the court ruled that the classification of an offense as serious or violent for the purposes of the act is based on the date Prop. 36 was passed by the voters, which was Nov. 7, 2012 (People v. Johnson S219454). This means any crime that was considered a violent or serious felony before the act passed on Nov. 7, 2012 can still be considered a strike under California Three Strikes Law.

Another recent decision involved offenders who received strikes for each offense after being convicted of multiple charges resulting from the same incident. For instance, someone could be charged for first degree burglary, second degree burglary and resisting arrest all at the same time and receive all three strikes. The court considered whether someone who’s potential third strike was for a mix of serious and non-serious felonies was eligible for resentencing (People v. Machado S219819).

The court concluded that the Three Strikes Reform Act requires an inmate’s eligibility for resentencing be evaluated on a count-by-count basis. This means that resentencing is allowed when an offender received a strike for a crime that is neither serious nor violent, despite the presence of another charge that is serious or violent. Due to this ruling, those who were given a strike for a qualifying non-serious or non-violent felony charge may be able to seek early release from parole.

Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

Three Strikes Law AttorneyIf you are facing criminal charges in California, you need the help of an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing criminal charges. Our skilled attorneys will work tirelessly to help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today for a free, no obligation phone consultation so we can get started on your defense.

With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, San Diego, Torrance and Sherman Oaks., there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense available near you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.