Long Beach Three Strikes Lawyers
At The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV, clients are provided aggressive representation and empathetic support as they work to protect their rights and future. Defense Attorney Joseph H. Low IV goes above and beyond for his clients to ensure that the full story comes to light through proper evidence, defense strategies, and testimony. For information on your legal rights and options, contact the firm today for a free consultation.
The three strikes law in California is controversial. On the one hand, it’s argued that it keeps society safer, but the issue of cruel and unusual punishment is also attached to it. Individuals convicted of multiple crimes are usually referred to as repeat offenders and find themselves up against a big legal fight in the criminal justice system. If a repeat offender is arrested again, he or she faces a wide range of challenges. It seems that in many repeat offender or three strike cases, the court has already made up its mind. They think a person is unresponsive to incarceration or doesn’t care; however, people can’t be universally labeled as such.
Under the three strikes law, a person is given a 25 years to life sentence upon a third offense if he or she has prior serious or violent felony convictions. An individual may receive such a devastating sentence even if he or she is convicted of a non-serious, nonviolent offense. Wobbler crimes, which are crimes that may be tried as a misdemeanor or a felony, can lead to a second and third strike enhancement. Juvenile convictions may also count as a strike offense. And lastly, several strikes may be charged from one crime or incident.
Whether you or a loved one has been arrested and faces charges for a second strike or a third strike, Mr. Low may be able to assist you in building an effective case for results in your favor.
The biggest obstacle with California’s three strikes law is the significant sentence increase imposed upon individuals who otherwise would face a shorter time in prison or jail if convicted of the crime at hand. The following aspects of sentencing are important to be aware of:
- Second Strike Offense – If an individual is convicted as a “second striker,” he or she has one prior serious or violent felony conviction. The sentence for any new felony conviction, whether serious or not, or a violent felony or not, may be twice the amount of time that is typical for the new conviction.
- Third Strike Offense – If an individual is convicted as a “third striker,” he or she has two or more prior serious or felony convictions. The sentence for any new felony, whether serious or not, or a violent felony or not, may result in life imprisonment or a minimum sentence of 25 years.
- Consecutive Sentencing – When a person is sentenced for several offenses, he or she will be required to serve a consecutive sentence in which two or more terms are added together.
- Unlimited Aggregate Term – If someone is given a consecutive sentence, there are no limits imposed on the amount of felonies that can be included.
- Time Since Prior Conviction Not Considered – This provision doesn’t allow the length of time in between previous and current felony convictions to affect sentencing. Even if a previous conviction took place years before a more recent one, it may still be considered a previous strike.
- Probation, Suspension, or Diversion Prohibited – An individual convicted of a second or third offense may not be given probation and he or she can’t suspend the sentence for any previous offense. A person also isn’t given the option for a diversion program as a substitute to prison or jail time.
- Prosecutorial Discretion – It is up to a prosecutor to move to dismiss or “strike” previous felonies when a sentencing is being considered.
- Limited “Good Time” Credits – A defendant normally is given the option of reducing the time that he or she spends in prison by one-half as a result of earning credits from work or education activities. However, a striker isn’t allowed to reduce their sentence by more than one-fifth.
- Sentence Enhancement – It is possible for more time to be added to an individual’s sentence for a specific reason that relates to the circumstances surrounding the crime or his or her criminal history.
When faced with such life-changing consequences, it is important to stay as positive and resourceful as possible. Joseph H. Low IV never gives up on his clients and conducts thorough investigations to gather the appropriate evidence and find the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. As a former Marine, defense Attorney Low prepares his clients for legal battle by listening to their story and giving them the answers they need. Find out more about how Mr. Low can help by calling (888) 454-5569.