Consequences of “Strike” Offenses

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In California, a defendant may face a "strike" on his or her criminal record if convicted of certain "serious" or " violent" felony offenses. This may include such crimes as manslaughter, murder, forcible rape, residential burglary, arson, kidnapping, armed  robbery and continuous sexual abuse of a child.

The "Three Strikes and You're Out" law passed in California in 1994 and has since been the subject both of much praise and scrutiny. It was created in an attempt to discourage repeat offenders by imposing increasingly harsh sentences for second or third "strike" offenses. Supporters of the law assert that it has prevented an average of 1,000,000 serious or violent crimes every year, but those against this law question its potential violation of defendants' rights due to its unforgiving penalties.

Though the majority of states throughout the U.S. have implemented some form of a three strikes law, California's version widely recognized as the most severe:

  • A defendant will receive a "strike" for a serious or violent felony conviction.
  • A second strike (conviction for a serious or violent felony) will result in double the normal penalties imposed for that offense.
  • A third conviction for any felony offense (even one that is not violent or serious) will result in 25 years to life in prison.

If you are facing a first, second or third strike and you would like to work with an attorney who will aggressively defend your interests and rights, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan C. Rosen today to schedule a confidential review of your case.

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