How does the California Three Strike Law work out? 8 Answers as of March 17, 2011

How does the law work?

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Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
There are some more complicated details in particular situations regarding the prior strikes, but essentially, if a person has two or more qualifying prior strike convictions ('serious' or 'violent' felonies), pursuant to Penal Code section 1192.7, then any new felony filing can be the third, qualifying strike, whether it is itself a charge that qualifies as a strike, or not. There are some ways to address the issue, such as asking a Judge to strike one of the strike priors. The sentence pursuant to 'Three Strikes' is twenty-five years to life. A defendant has to serve at least eighty percent of the sentence, so the minimum term before parole can be granted is twenty years.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/17/2011
The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
This cannot be answered competently in a couple of sentences. There are entire books written about it. However, GENERALLY SPEAKING, if you are convicted of ANY felony, AND you have TWO PRIOR serious or violent felonies (there are lists of them in the penal code), then you can be sent to state prison for 25 years to Life. It should be called "Two and Half Strikes and You're Out" since the third felony conviction doesn't have to be a "strike", i.e., "serious" or "violent". There is a LOT more to this law though and don't assume this completely answers your question.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/21/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
That is a very broad question. A truly meaningful response would require information regarding a specific situation. However:

The "three strikes law" only applies to felony cases where there has been a prior conviction of one or more serious or violent felonies. All violent felonies are also serious felonies. Those specific felonies which are "violent" are listed in Penal Code section 667.5(c). Serious felonies are listed in Penal Code section 1192.7(c).

If a defendant in a pending felony case which is not a "strike" has one prior serious or violent felony, the stated sentence for the new felony is doubled. The defendant must serve 8-% of the specified time. Example. Defendant has a prior residential burglary. Charged in new case with possession of methamphetamine. Usual sentence for the narcotic case would be 16 months, 2 or 3 years in state prison. With the "strike " prior the sentence bcomes 32 mos, 4 or 6 years.

If the defendant has two or more prior convictions for a serious and or violent felony, the sentence is generally 25 years to life (the code section provides for alternatives if they produce a longer determinate term , but they end with a life committment). There are no credits (time in adition to the actual time served) to reduce the 25 year portin of the sentence.

A defendant with a prior "strike" is not eligible for probation or any disposition except state prison. It does not matter if the new felony is violent or serious for the law to come into play.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/21/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Work out? Just fine.

With one prior felony strike, the sentence is doubled on any new conviction. With two prior felony strikes, the sentence is 25 to life on a third conviction.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/18/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
If you have been convicted in the past of any two "serious" or "violent" felonies as defined by law (and the list too long to include here) and you pick up a new felony convictions even if it is not also a serious or violent felony you could receive 25 years to life in state prison. Even if only 1 strike is alleged or the DA and judge gives you a break and only charges one even though you have more, a prison sentence is mandatory and you serve 80 of your sentence, rather than the normal one half.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/18/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    A violent felony can give you a strike. A second strike means your base term is doubled. A third strike means you do 25 to life.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/17/2011
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