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#14892969 Sep 20, 2021 at 02:28 PM
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Criminal Defense And Three Strike Law Involvement in criminal activities could land you in serious trouble with the authorities, especially if you face charges for listed serious crimes. Regardless of your case's circumstances, you may stand in a disadvantaged position and receive severe penalties for breaking the law and engaging in a strike felony. Felony Defense The three-strike law applied in California incorporates stringent measures extended to any defendant engaged in previous felony convictions. While you may find it quite challenging to raise defenses when charged with a felony, finding an experienced criminal defense lawyer will significantly reduce the penalties.
 
Before beginning the trial, you need to get into contact with a defense lawyer who will give you comprehensive and detailed information concerning three-strike laws and the defenses available depending on your case. At the Law Offices of Foutain & Hattersley, we are committed to providing the best legal services to all our clients who face criminal charges within the three-strike law. Over the years, we have managed to work out negotiations with prosecutors to ensure that our clients do not receive harsh and unwarranted penalties derived from the improper use of the three-strike laws.
 
The Legal Definition of Three Strike Laws

Drug And Alcohol Related Crimes Before determining the defenses you will apply to your case, you need to understand what three-strikes laws are and the consequences they bring to you as a defendant. The California Penal Code gives a broad and elaborate definition of these laws under section 667. Overall, a three-strike law seeks to enhance punishment given to a previously convicted offender who has faced prior felony convictions. The section also states that the crime has to be listed as a violent or severe felony to apply the three-strike laws to the defendant facing the sentence.
 
Moreover, three-strike laws can also double the sentence you were to receive, depending on the level of a strike that you are in. For example, anyone who has committed two previous severe or violent felonies is likely to face a double sentence for the new charges.
 
Section 1192.7 of the Penal Code lists all the felonies that amount to serious crimes in California based on the gravity of the effect they have on the victim of the crime. Murder tops the list as one of the most serious crimes, mainly because of the fatal consequences a defendant subjects to the deceased. Additionally, it qualifies as a severe criminal offense because of the deliberate element of a crime that suggests an intentional commission of an unlawful act. Secondly, manslaughter also appears on the list of severe felonies for the grave effects caused when a suspect causes the death of another because of undue disregard for human life. Besides these two felonies, the list also includes crimes like:
 
Kidnapping
Extortion
Rape
Mayhem
Carjacking

If your charges involve any of the listed crimes, your conviction will undoubtedly attract a felony strike.
 
Additionally, Section 667.5 provides a list for all offenses that amount to violent felonies, similarly attracting a strike upon conviction. Usually, violent crimes involve using excessive force to effect an unlawful action on a crime victim. Therefore, you may be included in a forceful and illegal invasion of personal space or property. Moreover, crimes that involve exposing minors to inherent threats also fall under this category. Committing grand theft in possession of a firearm is one of the criminal activities that fall under the category of violent felonies. A direct link demonstrated by the prosecutor in court may show that you used the firearm to cause alarm, actual harm, or coercion to the crime victim. The violence caused while engaging in the theft amounts to a violent felony charge. Other crimes under the category are:
 
Selling Methamphetamine or Cocaine to an underaged person.

Committing burglary
Robbery
Forced sodomy
Overall, a defendant who has committed any of the listed severe or violent felonies and repeats them twice more will have a full three-strike law effect used against him/her. The imposition of the strike laws means that your sentences are enhanced to the maximum option if possible, sometimes with limited parole options.
 
Despite the general classification of the felonies, you will face convictions depending on the strike level. It is crucial to learn of the consequences of facing charges as a second or third striker because you and your defense attorney will be prepared for the outcomes that await you.
 
Conviction as a Second Striker

Being a second striker means that you have faced one previous conviction, with serious or violent felony charges. Therefore, you must have completed your sentence and were released from jail, leading to a second opportunity to commit a crime. In this case, engaging in a felony that attracts a strike record again will open a new trial. If the presiding judge or jury finds you guilty of a second-time offense, you will become a second striker.
 
Subsequently, the strike law provisions direct the judge to enhance your sentence for the crime in question, to make it double the original penalty set for the conviction. For example, if you are found guilty of extortion, which is a serious felony, you will face eight years in prison, instead of the usual four years in section 518 of the Penal Code. The double sentence arises because of your previous criminal record involving another strike felony, like carjacking or rape. As long as the prosecutor can prove that your criminal record in the prior crime is valid, you will receive a sentence under the strike laws.
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