Los Angeles Three Strikes Lawyer
Few laws in California have attracted as much attention and have been criticized as much as the Three Strikes sentencing law. The Three Strikes Law in California is a harsh, tough-on-crime measure that increases punishments for repeat offenders. Three-strike cases were “life” cases under the original Three Strikes Law, which included cases where the third “strike” could be a minor, non-violent felony. The California three strikes law has changed in recent years, but sentencing guidelines are still tough. So if you’ve been convicted of serious felony “strike” crimes in the past such as murder, assault and violent crimes, don’t risk another conviction that could leave you imprisoned for many, many years. Contact an experienced attorney to defend your case.
If you are charged with any crime considered a “strike” in Southern California, it’s imperative to be represented by an aggressive, experienced Los Angeles three strikes lawyer. Call Los Angeles three strikes lawyer Douglas Miranda at the Miranda Rights Law Firm. With more than a decade of criminal defense experience in Los Angeles, criminal defense attorney Douglas Miranda understands the stakes involved in three strike law cases. He is prepared and ready to represent you, working to help you avoid conviction, so you can maximize your chances of avoiding prison and remaining free.
HISTORY OF THE THREE STRIKES LAW IN CALIFORNIA
Voters enacted the “Three Strikes law in response to the tragic murders of Kimber Reynolds and Polly Klass. In June of 1992, 18-year-old Kimber Reynolds had just left a local diner when she was attacked by two men who shot her in the ear with a .357 magnum. Kimber clung to life for 26 hours and finally died. Her father vowed to prevent this from happening to other kids. Her killers were repeat offenders.
A year and a half later, 12 year-old Polly Klaas was kidnapped, raped and murdered by Richard Allen Davis. He too was a repeat offender. California’s Three Strikes Law was enacted. In theory, the law was intended to “keep murders, rapists, and child molesters behind bars” but as it turned out, more than half of inmates sentenced under the law are serving sentences for nonviolent crimes. Another problem is the law unduly affects minority populations, the mentally ill, and the physically disabled.
People faced life sentences for minor “third strike” offenses that would otherwise be considered trivial crimes. That resulted in people being sentenced to 25-year prison terms even for non- violent offenses. According to the California Department of Corrections, the law severely affected minority ethnic groups. More than 45% of prison inmates who were sentenced under the Three Strikes law are African-American. The prisons overcrowded and it became obvious that change was imperative.
In 2012 however, California voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of reforms to the Three Strikes law. Proposition 36 made changes to the law. The amendments to the law required that the new felony be a serious or violent felony with a person having at least two previous strikes in order to qualify for the 25 year-to- life prison sentence. Inmates who had been sentenced to life terms for minor third strike crimes were given the chance to petition for reduction of their sentences. Crimes considered “strikes” include but are not limited to:
- Murder, attempted murder, and voluntary manslaughter;
- Mayhem (serious, deliberate injury that disfigures or disables someone);
- Rape, robbery, and kidnapping;
- Sexual abuse of a child under 14;
- Any felony punishable by death or life in prison or involving a firearm or great bodily injury;
- Exploding any device with an intent to murder or injure;
- Grand theft involving a firearm or carjacking with a deadly weapon; and
- Selling, furnishing, or giving to a minor heroin, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), or any methamphetamine-related drug.
The law is so complex that it requires the help of an experienced Los Angeles three strikes lawyer who understands how to help with this challenging type of legal case. An experienced Southern California criminal defense lawyer can maximize your chances of maintaining your freedom, even if you have serious prior convictions.
JUVENILES AND THREE STRIKE LAWS
Juvenile convictions, known as juvenile sustained petitions, can count as a strike towards the three strikes if these three conditions are met:
- The defendant was at least 16 years of age when the crime was committed;
- The crime is listed in California Welfare and Institutions Code 707(b); and
- The conviction is considered a strike under the California Penal Code definitions of violent or serious felony.
WE DEFEND YOU AGAINST “STRIKE” CHARGES
Those who are already incarcerated under the old law are able to petition the court for reduction of their term to a second strike sentence, if they would have been eligible for second strike sentencing under the new law. However, it is never a guarantee that you will be granted second strike sentencing. It’s recommended that you work with an experienced Los Angeles three strikes lawyer to petition the court if this applies to you. A lawyer will be able to help you navigate through the legal proceedings and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
It is important to note that the “three strikes” laws vary from one state to another but generally the first two strikes are felonies that involve either violence or serious harm. Usually, states with three strike laws sentence convicted three strikers to much lengthier sentences than would normally be handed down for the same crime.
It is possible in rare cases that the courts will dismiss a strike. This can happen when the strike might fall just out of the three strikes law. A decision to strike or dismiss a “strike” prior is appealable by the prosecution and reviewable by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.
If you are facing a potential third strike you need to consult an experienced Los Angeles three strikes defense Lawyer who knows all about “three strikes” laws in California. You have rights and the laws in these cases can be very delicate to interpret. You need someone that understands the laws and will aggressively fight for you.
GET THE LEGAL HELP YOU REALLY NEED
If you have been charged with any crime considered a “strike” in California, Los Angeles three strikes lawyer Douglas Miranda will explain your legal options and work to develop the most effective possible defense. At the Miranda Rights Law Firm, we take our responsibility to our clients seriously, and we put our experience to work for you. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, contact us today. Send an email, or call 213-255-5838. Se habla español.