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Orange County 3-Strikes Attorney

Many are confused by the 3-strikes law of California in a way that makes this area even more scary than it already is. The best way to describe the 3-strikes law is by first defining a "strike," then describing what getting more than one strike will do, and finally what a "Third Strike" does.

What is a "Strike?" A strike is a felony that is categorized as either "serious" (Penal Code §1192.7) or "violent" (Penal Code §667.5). Examples of serious strike felony charges are: residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, lewd conduct, and criminal threats. Examples of violent strike felony charges are: robbery, rape, mayhem, murder, arson, kidnapping, carjacking, and extortion.

Because strikes are defined as basically more serious felony offenses, the punishments are usually more severe. Many strike offenses when committed for the first time, carry with them immediate state prison sentences without any chance at probation (aka: county jail). The categories of strikes are complicated to begin with, which is why is it important to have a dedicated attorney in the client's case to maneuver within the best options.

First-Strike – Most first strike offenses carry an ordinary prison term like other felony terms, unless the strike is categorized as a "violent" offense under §667.5. In that case, the prison term will not be at 50%, but at 80%. The real danger in strike felonies is that the defendant's exposure is multiplied when the second felony and/or strike case comes along.

Second-Strike - Whatever the punishment was given to the client on their first time around when he or she obtained a strike, getting a second strike (or felony) does two very important things: (1) the punishment is doubled in time, and (2) the client must serve from 80-85% of that time in prison.

So if the second felony strike was a robbery that carries 2 years in prison, the client will be facing twice the amount of their second strike/felony case and will serve up to 85% of that prison time instead of the ordinary 50% for most felonies in prison (known as "half-time").

Third-Strike - Many individuals misinterpret the 3-strikes law with regard to the third and "final" strike. The reason for this is that the third strike does not have to be a strike felony. Therefore, the third offense can be ANY FELONY. This third offense is what then makes the client eligible for facing anywhere from 25 years to life in prison.

The client does however have several options at hand. In some cases, a prior strike can be dropped (aka: "striking a strike") from the client's past charges, making him or her eligible for a lesser prison sentence.