The so called three strikes law treats persons charged with felonies that have prior serious or violent felonies very harshly. For example, someone with a residential burglary when they were 18 years old and 30 years later that same person is now convicted of another felony, the three strikes law applies. This is true even if the new felony is non serious and non violent (such as some theft offenses, some drug possession, possession of stolen property, etc.)
Let's demonstrate how sentencing under the 3 strikes law works under the above scenario.
- New Crime: Felony theft normal sentencing options are 16months, 2 years or 3 years prison.
- Strike Crime: Residential burglary from 30 years ago. That would double the above maximums
- New Sentencing Triads: 32 months, 4 years or 6 years.
In addition a person who is convicted of a new felony and has a strike will be required to go to prison. The prison time depends on the crime. If the person has one prior strike and is convicted of a non strike offense felony (felony grand theft) then the prison maximums and minimums are doubled.
For example using the above example the person has an old residential burglary conviction and is now convicted of a non violent felony grand theft, that person could spend a maximum of 6 years in prison for the grand theft. Up until recently, if that same person had two prior serious or violent felonies that same person would be sentenced to 25 to life.
Under Proposition 63 the person would only be sentenced to 25 to life if the new case was a strike and they had 2 or more prior strikes in the past.
Maximum prison time is increased quickly if the new felony conviction is a serious or violent felony, like a residential burglary and the person has one or more prior serious or violent felonies. For every prior serious and violent felony conviction, when convicted of a new serious or violent felony, that person would spend 5 additional years on top of the regular term. This is known as a “nickel” prior.
Sentencing guidelines although they may seem simple at first because extremely complex. It is important to seek competent legal counsel to guide you or your loved one through process.
Your freedom and criminal record are very important. Call The Bogan Law Firm, A Professional Corporation for an immediate consultation.