Fresno Three Strike Attorney

Under the California three strikes law, a strike is any serious or violent felony, such as residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, child molestation, mayhem, arson, inflicting great bodily injury, and murder. 

How the Law Effects You if You’ve Had One Prior Strike?

If you have a prior strike conviction, you face an increased sentence on any subsequent felony convictions. After your first strike, if you suffer a felony conviction your sentence is doubled, even if that felony is not “serious or violent”. For example if you’ve had a prior robbery conviction and you are subsequently convicted of grand theft, which is not a “strike,” the maximum punishment is 6 years in prison instead of the normal 3 years Criminal Attorney Michael Mitchellfor grand theft if you had not had a prior strike. If someone you know or care about is facing a felony charge and has a prior “strike offense,” the circumstances are very serious and you should contact Fresno Expert Three Strikes Attorney Michael E. Mitchell for a free consultation today at (559) 222-2424. 

Proposition 36, Change in 3 Strike Law

Prior to the recent change in the law, a new felony conviction where the defendant had two prior strikes would automatically result in a 25 to Life sentence exposure.  Fortunately, the law changed in that respect as of 2012.  Proposition 36 was enacted in November of 2012 and, fundamentally changed the three strikes law.

Now a 25 to Life term is, generally, only imposed if the defendant has two prior strikes and the new felony is a serious or violent offense.  However, there are exceptions to this rule, which are provided in Penal Code section 667(e) and include the following:

1)The current offense is a large quantity drug offenses [H&S Code section11370.4 or 11379.8]

2) The new offense is a sex case

3) While committing the current offense, the defendant was armed with a firearm

4) The defendant has any of the following types of prior convictions:

    • prior serious or violent sex offenses
    • prior homicide or attempted homicide conviction
    • solicitation to commit murder
    • Assaulting a peace officer or firefighter with a machine gun
    • Possessing a weapon of mass destruction
    • Or any serious or violent felony where the maximum sentence is life or death.

Prosecutor Can Dismiss Strikes

It should be also noted that Penal Code section 667 gives the prosecutor more latitude in dealing with strike cases.  667(f) states that that the prosecutor may move to dismiss a strike in the interests of justice pursuant to Penal Code section 1385.  However, in 667(g) the statute directs that the DA shall not dismiss a prior strike to effect a plea bargain, except where it would be in the interest of justice or there is insufficient evidence to prove the prior strike as provided in 667(f).  So if a case can be made that the dismissing the strike is in the interests of justice, the prosecutor can go ahead and dismiss the strike.  Also if there is some doubt in the record that the prior conviction is actually a strike, the prosecutor can dismiss it on that basis as well.

Some Additional Important Three Strikes Law Facts:

 • Juvenile offenses can count towards a strike

 • Even one prior strike can result in a doubled sentence on your next prosecution.

 • Multiple crimes committed simultaneously can mean multiple “strikes.”

 • Strikes committed more than 10 years ago still count as a strike.

When handling a three strikes case, it is critical that you contact an experienced Fresno three strikes law attorney.  Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney Michael E. Mitchell has years of experience handling three strikes law cases.  Give him a call today to discuss your criminal law matter.  He can be reached via phone at 559-222-2424.