Criminal Defense in Orange County
What is the California Three Strikes Law?

California Three Strikes Law

Understand the Penalties for Multiple Convictions

If you have been convicted of multiple criminal offenses, the penalties you face become more and more severe. You could experience greater fines and longer jail time depending on the seriousness of your offense. Thus, for repeat offenses, it is even more essential than ever that you retain the representation of an Anaheim criminal attorney who can fight for your rights and protect your freedom.

At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, we have the experience and efficiency that you need to face your charges with confidence. Over our 35 years of experience in criminal defense law, we have represented clients in more than 2,500 cases. Mr. Gibbs has seen 2,000 of these counts dismissed, a proven success record that can be your advantage when facing the harsh penalties of California's Three Strikes Law.

What is the Three Strikes Law?

The state of California has a unique law which deals with the punishment of repeat felony offenders. This is called the "Three Strikes Law" and it has been hotly debated since it was first implemented in 1993. This term conjures up baseball imagery in which a batter gets three "strikes" (missed chances) before he is out. In a similar way, once an individual has committed their third felony offense, they will be sentenced to greater penalties than that particular offense would typically warrant.

For example, if an individual has two prior serious or violent offenses on their record and then is arrested for a serious or violent felony, their sentence upon conviction would be 25 years to life. Although the days of defendants going to prison for life for stealing a piece of pizza are over, this is still an important law that an attorney must have a thorough understanding of.

How does this affect your case?

The affect of the Three Strikes Law on your criminal charge depends on its severity. Initially, the law passed in for the first time as habitual offender laws with the intent is to implement harsher penalties on those who have repeatedly broken the law at a serious level. As a result, violent crime began to drop especially in Southern California. However, people began to see a major flaw in this habitual offender law. It stated nothing about the nature of the third felony offense that would qualify a person for the Three Strikes Law.

Therefore, those who were convicted of a third non-violent felony would get the same punishment as someone convicted of a third violent felony. Fortunately, Proposition 36 entered the 2012 ballot and California voters weighed in. This proposed amendment to the Three Strikes Law would specify the statute to only apply to individuals who were convicted of a third, violent felony offense. Non-violent felony third-time offenders would not quality for the 25 years to life imprisonment penalty instituted by the statute.

This amendment also means that those who were previously sentenced under the Three Strikes Law for nonviolent offenses could be resentenced to receive lesser penalties. The official California voter guide estimated that passing this proposition would save approximately $100 million annually. This can potentially affect the lives of 3,000 convicted nonviolent third-offense felons.

Penalties for Repeat Felony Offenders

Judges will always take prior offenses into consideration when issuing penalties for misdemeanor and felony offenders. Those who are convicted under the Three Strikes Law will face 25 years to life imprisonment. If you have been arrested for a felony offense, it is good to remember that this is one strike on your record. Any subsequent strikes put you closer and closer to the Three Strikes penalty.

Some of the qualifying violent felony offenses include:

  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • DUI with Injury
  • DUI with Death
  • Felony Assault & Battery

Gain 35 Years of Experience in Your Corner

At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, we understand the stress and anxiety of facing potentially severe penalties because of past mistakes. We have been been fighting to defend the rights of the accused for 35 years and and want to ensure that your rights are protected. Our Anaheim criminal defense lawyer is committed to being a passionate advocate for all of his clients and will do everything in his power to fight for you. When you come to our firm, you can trust that you will be given your best chance at freedom.

Give us a call today for the aggressive counsel you need!


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