Three Strikes Law
A conviction for a repeat offense can have a horrible impact on your life. This is especially true in the 24 states that have habitual offender laws. These laws require harsh punishments for repeat offenders who have already committed one or two serious or violent crimes. In California, this law is known as the Three Strikes Law, and its effects have been known to devastate lives.
If you have been charged with a second or third offense, Fresno criminal defense lawyer Michael McKneely has the skill and knowledge to help you obtain the best possible resolution of your case. With 15 years of experience in the courtroom, Mike is practiced in educating prosecutors and judges about the whole story, and this can often lead to the reduction of charges and sentences in certain cases.
Harsh Sentences for Second and Third Time Offenders
The California Three Strikes Law requires that second time offenders who have already committed a serious or violent felony be sentenced to state prison for twice the amount of time normally served for that crime. For some third time offenders, the penalties are far more serious. A conviction for a third serious or violent crime after having already committed two others will, in many cases, result in a sentence of 25 years to life in a state prison.
Originally enacted in 1994, the Three Strikes Law is unfair to many defendants. People who were falsely accused of a second or third crime, for example, have been sentenced to life in prison. Until 2012, the third crime did not have to be violent or serious to result in a sentence of 25 years to life, any felony would trigger the most severe punishment. Although the law has softened somewhat in recent years, second and third offenses can still lead to serious life-altering consequences.
Living in a state with this law means that you could face very serious consequences if you are convicted of a second or subsequent serious or violent crime. It is essential to get the help of an experienced Fresno criminal defense attorney so that you can escape a conviction for another offense altogether and avoid the harsh penalties associated with the Three Strikes Law.
Many Crimes are Labeled “Serious” or “Violent”
In order for the Three Strikes Law to apply, the first, second, and third offense must be classified as either serious or violent. Serious or violent crimes include:
Additionally, California’s list of serious or violent crimes is much longer than that of most states. It includes seemingly minor offenses, such as:
If you have been accused of any of these charges, contact Fresno criminal attorney Mike McKneely. People are falsely accused of crimes every day, and having a skilled defense attorney on your side can give you the advantage you need to resolve the case in your favor. Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer will evaluate every detail so that your story is told, and we will work to lessen the consequences the charge.