California's Three Strikes Law - A General Summary

On March 7th, 1994, California enacted its Three Strikes law for sentencing repeat felony offenders. Under this law, persons who have been convicted of a serious or violent felony offense are issued a "strike" on their record, thereby dramatically increasing the penalties for any subsequent felony convictions they should receive. If a person is convicted of three felonies, they face a minimum sentence of 25 years to life in prison and are not eligible for time off for good behavior.

What Felonies Are Considered "Serious" or "Violent" Strike Priors?

A number of different offenses can be considered a strike, including:

  • Residential burglary
  • Armed robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Child molestation
  • Arson
  • Murder
  • Assault with a deadly weapon

These offenses are all either violent in nature or involve inflicting serious injury to another person. A person convicted of a subsequent felony after a first strike receives a second strike on their record and must go to prison for double the sentence of the new offense. Two strike offenders must serve a minimum of 80% of their imposed sentence before being eligible for parole.

While any subsequent third felony used to expose third strikers to a minimum of 25 years to life, an update to the legislation on November 6th, 2012 now requires a third strike to be a serious or violent felony to qualify for the 25 years to life sentence. Three strike offenders must serve a minimum of 25 years in prison before being eligible for parole. No three strike inmates as of yet have been paroled, as the first of these inmates will not be eligible until 2019.

Facing a Violent Felony Charge? Call (888) 392-8114

If you are facing a violent felony charge or are otherwise facing a strike on your record, it is vital you retain the services of an aggressive criminal defense attorney to protect your future and freedom. At the Law Office of Frances Prizzia, our award-winning Orange County criminal defense lawyers have secured countless case victories and can provide the powerful defense you need during this time.

To find out more about what our Superb Avvo Rated attorneys can do for you, contact our firm online or request a free consultation today.