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Articles Posted in Three Strike Crime

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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.

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If one of your loved ones is serving a “three strikes sentence” and wants to be released or be more favorably re-sentenced under the recently passed “Three Strikes Law”, you are advised to immediately retain an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Under the recently passed “Three Strikes Law”, prisoners currently serving 25 years to life for a non-violent and non-serious third felony conviction may seek court review of their sentences. In certain circumstances, these prisoners may obtain more favorable re-sentencing.

Three%20Strikes%20Criminal%20Defense%20Lawyers%20888-280-6839.jpgObtaining a lawyer became much more important when the Court of Appeals decided the case of People vs. Superior Court (Kaulick) (2013) 2013 DJDAR 5571. The Court of Appeals held that a judge was incorrect in agreeing to reduce an inmate’s sentence under the “three strikes law” because the prosecution had not been notified of the facts of the case and no hearing had taken place. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s order and the inmate must remain in custody until there is a full blown hearing.

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Proposition 36 changed the prior Three Strikes Law, which allowed you to be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison if you had two prior “strike convictions” and were subsequently convicted of any other felony. Under the new Three Strikes Law if you have two prior strike convictions, but your current felony is not serious or violent you instead get a second strike sentence, which is double the usual sentence imposed for the current crime.

Three%20Strikes%20Prop%2036.%20Wallin%20%26%20Klarich%20Defense%20888-280-6839.jpgHowever, you can still be sentenced to 25 years to life under the old Three Strikes Law if:

– Your current offense involves drugs with an allegation under Health and Safety Code 11370.4 or 11379.8;

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Earlier this month, the voters of California approved Proposition 36, which modifies the limits of the California’s “three-strike” statute, which will allow a more humane sentencing system in the state.

Three%20Strikes%20Prop%2036.%20Wallin%20%26%20Klarich%20888-280-6839.jpgUnder the previous law, people would end up serving life sentences for crimes as minor as shoplifting. Proposition 36 amends the 1994 California three-strike law by eliminating the imposition of a 25 to life sentence for nonviolent crimes. Previously, a defendant with two violent or serious felony convictions would receive a mandatory 25 to life sentence upon a third felony conviction, regardless of the severity of the third crime.

There are approximately 4,000 people serving life sentences under the California three-strike law. A large portion of those people have been incarcerated with their life sentences for a conviction of a nonviolent or non-serious third offense.

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There is an important proposition on the November 2012 ballot in California. Proposition 36 seeks to alter California’s Three Strikes Law. If Prop 36 passes, then it would require that the third strike be a serious or violent felony.

Violent%20Crimes%20Three%20Strike%20Law.jpgCalifornia’s Three Strikes Law, which was passed in 1994, mandates the courts in California to impose 25 years to life sentences to those offenders who have been convicted of three or more serious criminal offenses. Proposition 36 requires that in order for a judge to impose a punishment of 25 years to life, the third and final conviction must be a serious or violent crime. If Prop 36 passes, many convicted offenders whose third offense was not a serious or violent crime may seek to reduce their sentence or even seek their freedom.

Supporters of Prop 36, which include Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley and Stanford law professor Michael Romano, argue that those who have been convicted of shoplifting and other lesser offenses should not be in prison for life. According to Romano, “life sentences for these crimes are a waste of money. It’s not what the people wanted and not good law enforcement.”

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The three-strikes law in California applies to many juvenile offenses listed under California Welfare & Institutions Code 707(b) and a juvenile who has a strike on their record as a result of a juvenile adjudication can be in serious trouble later in life if they are charged with any felony offense in the future. If admitted or found true, a strike can double any potential sentence and can lead to the person having to serve up to 85% of their time in prison as opposed to 50%. Juvenile adjudications under WI 707(b) must be “serious” or “violent” felonies to be considered strikes and these offenses include, but are not limited to;

Murder, Arson, Robbery, Rape, Sodomy, or Oral Copulation by Force, Lewd Act on a Child, Kidnapping, Assault with a Firearm, Assault with Force Likely to Cause Great Bodily Injury, Manufacturing a Controlled Substance, Carjacking, Mayhem, Torture, and Voluntary Manslaughter. This list is just a sample of the many felonies that if found true or admitted in juvenile court are considered strikes for the purposes of California’s three-strikes law.

As stated, having any prior strike can have a devastating impact on somebody who is being charged with a new felony. Although that person would be facing a doubled sentence and having to serve a larger percentage of their sentence, there are ways to potentially avoid these consequences. A skilled California three-strikes attorney would pull the juvenile case file of their client to test whether the prosecution can prove that their prior was in fact a strike. If the prosecutor cannot, then they would not be facing the enhanced punishments for that prior adjudication. An experienced attorney would also try to convince the prosecutor or the judge to “strike” the prior strike for sentencing on the new case which would also avoid the severe punishment that the prior strike could cause.

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The Three Strikes Law, which was enacted when California voters approved Proposition 115 in 1994, is meant to impose severe punishment to those offenders who the courts consider to be “career criminals”-people who have committed and been convicted of 2 or more serious or violent felonies, and then go on to commit a third felony. That last felony does not need to be a serious or violent crime to constitute a third strike-it can be as minor as a petty theft charge with several prior theft convictions!

As a result of the three strikes law in California, some defendants have been given sentences of 25 years to life in prison for such crimes as shoplifting golf clubs (Gary Ewing, previous strikes for burglary and robbery with a knife), or, along with a violent assault, a slice of pepperoni pizza from a group of children (Jerry Dewayne Williams, previous convictions for robbery and attempted robbery, sentence later reduced to six years).

In California, first and second strikes are counted by individual charges rather than individual cases, so you can be charged and convicted of “first and second strikes.” Convictions from all 50 states and the federal courts at any point in the defendant’s past, as well as juvenile offenses if the defendant was age 16 or older that would otherwise be sealed, can be counted

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With California facing a budget crisis and our jails so horribly overcrowded that judges openly mock the “power” of sentencing people to jail time, there are currently people sitting in California jails serving 50 year sentences for shoplifting. While that may seem like some extreme propaganda used by criminal defense attorneys or the far left, the simple fact is, California’s “three strikes” law is horribly flawed.

It is so flawed, that Californians have collected enough signatures to add a ballot measure to the November elections that would seriously reform the three strikes law and in turn, save hundreds of millions of dollars in the long term.

If approved, the reforms would do two things.

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f you have been accused of committing a crime that is considered a “strike crime,” you are facing very serious charges, especially if you already have one or more strikes on your criminal record.

The three strikes law is a controversial law that has been in effect in California for over a decade. The law was passed in an effort to reduce crime throughout the state, by severely punishing repeat offenders who are convicted of serious crimes. When a person is convicted of a criminal felony in California, and it is a felony that is considered “serious” or “violent” he or she will receive a strike on their criminal record, and each strike will result in an additional legal consequences. A person convicted of a crime resulting in a second strike will have a lengthier prison term possibly twice the amount of time, than a person without a previous strike conviction. The outcome of a conviction that results in a third strike will typically be a prison term of twenty-five years to life. Listed below are the two categories of strike offenses in CA:

Violent felonies • Murder or manslaughter.

Published on:

If you have been accused of committing a crime that is considered a “strike crime,” you are facing very serious charges, especially if you already have one or more strikes on your criminal record.

The three strikes law is a controversial law that has been in effect in California for over a decade. The law was passed in an effort to reduce crime throughout the state, by severely punishing repeat offenders who are convicted of serious crimes. When a person is convicted of a criminal felony in California, and it is a felony that is considered “serious” or “violent” he or she will receive a strike on their criminal record, and each strike will result in an additional legal consequences. A person convicted of a crime resulting in a second strike will have a lengthier prison term possibly twice the amount of time, than a person without a previous strike conviction. The outcome of a conviction that results in a third strike will typically be a prison term of twenty-five years to life. Listed below are the two categories of strike offenses in CA:

Violent felonies • Murder or manslaughter.

About Wallin & Klarich

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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.